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    City Plan Department

    Boathouse At Canal Dock

    OVERVIEW
    New Haven was settled in 1638 by English puritans because of its natural and sheltered harbor.  The local Quinnipiacks had long enjoyed the abundant shellfish and fin-fish in the estuary.  As the City developed the shallow harbor waters were filled, pushing the shorefront almost half a mile from the Green.  The City is set to bridge this distance and rebuild the connection between center city and the waterfront by building a federally and state funded community boathouse on the former site of Canal Dock.  Currently, much of New Haven’s extensive waterfront property is devoted to maritime industry, such as shipping operations and tank farms. These areas do not support active water-dependent recreation activities or educational opportunities for the general public.  While New Haven does have several waterfront parks, not all have water access.  In short, there is nowhere that fills the identified need for a community recreation center that actively uses New Haven’s harbor. The Boathouse at Canal Dock will provide dock elements to support multiple non-motorized boat types and sizes and provide for public access to the harbor.  Environmental, cultural, and historical education will also be a key component of programming at the boathouse, using the history of a re-built Canal Dock and adjacent Long Wharf Pier as starting points.

    boathouse 2
    boathouse 4

    Renderings of proposed boathouse

    The current project serves to mitigate the demolition of the historic Yale (Adee) Boathouse that sat across New Haven Harbor from the Canal Dock site, at 74 Forbes Avenue. The Forbes Avenue Boathouse was demolished by the Connecticut Department of Transportation in 2007 as part of the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program, a multi-billion dollar effort to improve highway safety and efficiency at the I-95/I-91 interchange. Under the current proposal, elements of the historic boathouse will be prominently featured in the design of the Canal Dock Boathouse, helping the building’s otherwise-modern design to fit in with the historical context of the region.
    The Canal Dock project will provide a waterfront promenade, boat storage, transient slips, and a handicap accessible ramp for canoes and kayaks, as well as a gathering place in a diverse and urban context unparalleled in the State of Connecticut. Its proximity to multiple modes of transportation will attract the diverse population of New Haven and surrounding towns. Most importantly, it will incorporate the waterfront into the identity of the city in a way that has been prevented for decades by transportation infrastructure, providing an opportunity to interpret both the history of the Adee building, collegiate rowing, and the harbor in general. Construction is projected to be completed in 2014.

    For more information, please see the July 12th 2012 Public Meeting Presentation below.

    Preliminary Presentations

    September 2nd 2010 Public Meeting

    July 2012 Public Information Meeting Presentation

     

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