Yale Architect Dean Honored by New York Art Commission

Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture and the J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture at Yale, was honored in February by the Art Commission of the City of New York for a projected boathouse along the Harlem River in upper Manhattan.

The plan was commissioned by the nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP), an organization chaired by entertainer Bette Midler. The NYRP is committed to reclaiming neglected public space for recreational and community use throughout the city. This project is part of a rehabilitation of the blighted Harlem River shoreline area to be undertaken by New York City and State agencies.

The Art Commission gives awards to “acknowledge projects of exceptional quality among the hundreds of projects submitted by numerous City agenciesI The awards recognizeIprojects whose work creates a more beautiful city,” said Art Commission President Jean Parker Phifer.

In its architectural detail and decorative features, particularly the painted wood board-and-batten exterior walls, the boathouse recalls maritime building traditions. The design is deliberately informal and refined, simple and strong.

To avoid harming the fragile inter-tidal environment, the boathouse was designed as a floating structure. Access will be through a gated entrance and down a series of fixed piers leading to floating docks. The first floor of the building will have launching area for 16 boats, in addition to storage space. The second floor will house administrative, exercise and meeting rooms. Spectators will be able to watch crew practices and races from a spacious second-floor deck.

Located immediately south of Sherman Creek, between Dyckman and 202nd streets, the Boathouse at Swindler Cove will reestablish the historic presence of recreational boating facilities on Manhattan’s northern waterfront. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this area was the site of several boathouses that served a flourishing network of competitive rowing clubs. Although some recreational activities still take place here, and a bulkhead just south of the site serves as the finish line for Columbia University’s intercollegiate races, the area has fallen into disuse.

The Swindler Cove boathouse project should be completed in the spring or early summer of 2001.

Stern is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A., 1960) and Yale University (M.Architecture, 1965). He has served as dean of the Yale school since 1998. He is founder and senior partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York, a 150-person firm that includes architects, landscape architects and interior designers. During its 30 years of existence, the firm of Robert A.M. Stern Architects has established an international reputation for residential, commercial and institutional buildings and won numerous awards.

The Art Commission of the City of New York is mandated by the City Charter to review and approve all works of art, architecture and landscape architecture on City-owned land.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345