As walkers on the Lake Waban path stroll past the Wellesley Boathouse this summer, they will find a refreshed and brightened structure—and a pleasant new patio where they can stop to catch their breath.
The boathouse was originally designed by Heyward Cutting, also the architect of the College Club. “This is the first comprehensive rethink of the boathouse since it was built in 1963,” says Peter Zuraw, Wellesley’s assistant vice president of facilities management and planning.
Thanks to the generosity of Alice Lehmann Butler ’53 and her husband, John, the boathouse has become more inviting. “We added two windows facing Lake House to let more light in, and changed the garage doors to glass, so there’s more access to the real world, and the light from the water reflects off the inside,” says Zuraw. Where the building fronts onto the path, there’s now a lighted canopy over the door. “There’s an ‘arrival moment’ when you get inside, with a skylight feature. That’s also where we added restrooms and a classroom—space to learn how to tie knots and how to handle oars,” he adds.
The renovation of the facility—which is used by Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics—was conceived by Peterson Architects, based in Cambridge, Mass., which specializes in boathouse design.