Fittingly historical and unique in the world is Philadelphia's Boathouse Row on the east bank of the Schuylkill River along Kelly Drive. While world-class rowing teams and their boathouses exist in many of the world's largest cities and finest universities, such as London, Bonn, UC Berkeley, or Boston, Boathouse Row is the only place with such a high concentration of rowing organizations, expertise, and culture in the world.
Long the center of rowing in the U.S., Boathouse Row hosts several major rowing regattas, including the Dad Vail Regatta, Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the Navy Day Regatta, the Independence Day Regatta, and the Head of the Schuylkill.
Each Philadelphia Big 5 member (Saint Joseph's, Villanova, Penn, La Salle, and Temple) rows from a boathouse along the Schuylkill. In addition to these prestigious teams, however, rowers based at Boathouse Row compete at every level, including local clubs, high schools, colleges, and summer racing programs.
Boathouse Row is a National Historic Landmark and includes 10 Victorian boathouses, built for the city's rowing clubs in the late 19th century, many by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. Renowned artist Thomas Eakins has frequently treated Boathouse Row and its rowers as subjects for his work.
The outline of each boathouse is illuminated at night in various colors, depending on the event or season, thus creating a splendid display for viewers across the water.