Shore Her Up!  -  Our Preservation Campaign

The Preservation Campaign is dedicated to work on the house that will ensure that it will remain strong
for another 150 years.

The Preservation Project

The Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club (PGRC) proudly owns and maintains the oldest permanent structure on Boathouse Row.  Built in 1861, this unique facility has been the only rowing home to Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club.

For over 75 years, our Boathouse has provided a historic and important entryway for women to row on the Schuylkill River.

This is the time to Shore Her Up!


Construction Phases

Shore Her Up! consists of three critical construction phases as the PGRC Preservation Campaign raises funds to protect the PGRC boathouse.  Shore Her Up! will use standard preservation techniques to improve and prolong the life of our remarkable boathouse.  

Phase 1
Stabilize the foundation and upgrade the boat bays. Completed!

Phase 2
Repair and seal the envelope of the building for energy efficiency: pointing, windows, and roof. (In progress)

Phase 3
Renovate the interior of the building.


Phase 1: A Firm Foundation

The boathouse was sagging and required a new foundation with a steel-reinforced concrete slab. The National Historic Landmarks Program identified the PGRC boathouse as one of five boathouses “most at risk” from erosion in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Engineering studies of the boathouse made it clear that had to first stabilize the building's foundation. Work on the foundation was completed in 2015. A new mat/anchor slab, used in conjunction with the weight of the stone walls, locks the building in place using a "key way" system. This will ensure the foundation’s security for generations to come.

In addition to securing the foundation, we also upgraded the boatbay walls, boat racks and lighting during the first phase of Shore Her Up!

Phase 2: The Historic Exterior

Now that the foundation has been stabilized, we are ready to tackle the exterior of the building. PGRC retained Materials Conservation Co. LLC to evaluate the condition of the exterior masonry. Recommendations for its restoration include:

  • Raking all mortar joints by hand and repointing with mortar matching the early mortar.

  • Cleaning all exterior masonry of atmospheric soiling and biological growth.

  • Removing non-matching patching in cracked masonry units and filling with appropriate material matching the stone.

The estimated cost of the masonry restoration is $200,000. Additional funds will be needed to address the windows and roof. We are currently raising funds to complete this second phase of Shore Her Up!

We need your help and your financial support . . . not only to help champion women's rowing, but also to preserve one of Philadelphia's distinctive structures on Boathouse Row.

The Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club boathouse is listed in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Sites. Boathouse Row is a National Historic Landmark.

How to Help

Donate Online
You may use any major credit card to make an online donation through PayPal:

Donate by Check
Checks made payable to Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club with Preservation on the memo line may be mailed to: 

PGRC Preservation Campaign
Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club
#14 Kelly Drive / Boathouse Row
Philadelphia, PA  19130

Additional Details
All donations will be recognized on our web site, annual reports, and Medalist Wall of Fame.

Your gift can be paid out over 3 years. Payment plans are also available.

Please write Ann O’Keefe or Cindy D'Ambrosio through our Contact Us page, or call Sophie Socha at (610) 667-7431 for further information on donation options and opportunities.

The Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible.