The WCC Boathouse

An Iconic Landmark on the Shores of the Potomac River

Shortly after its founding in 1904, Washington Canoe Club members initiated construction of a boathouse on the Georgetown waterfront next to the Aqueduct Bridge (later replaced by the Key Bridge).  That original boathouse structure, which has been added to and modified over the last 110 years, has been home to generations of paddlers (including Olympians) as well as a myriad of activities and events which have served club members and the greater DC community.  

See the WCC boathouse at Legoland in California, where it is included as part of the D.C. section of Miniland USA. 

See the WCC boathouse at Legoland in California, where it is included as part of the D.C. section of Miniland USA. 

Today, the WCC boathouse is located on National Park Service land, leased by the club. Floods, ice, and age have taken their toll on Georgetown’s historic waterfront over the last century, and the WCC boathouse has not been spared. Working closely with the National Park Service and local preservation and community organizations, the WCC membership is committed to major repairs and renovation to save this D.C. icon.

WCC Boathouse Timeline

  • Built in 1905, the two-story wooden building included about 3,500 sq. ft. per floor. Canoes and kayaks of many sizes were stored on the lower level while the upper level included toilet rooms, a kitchen and a large club room.  
  • By 1930, it was expanded to the east with an additional 2,000 sq. ft. per floor.  The total floor area now is about 11,000 sq. ft.
  • Around 1970, as part of a major sewer project, landfill in front of the boathouse was capped with concrete, creating the current deck. 
  • The older section of the building was deemed unstable by the NPS in 2011 and has been closed since that time, although NPS has inserted structural supports to shore up the building and prevent further deterioration. The east addition (“boat shed”) is currently being utilized by the club for boat storage and a weight training room, but has no plumbing or restroom facilities.

Join us in our Boathouse Rehabilitation effort and help us restore the boathouse to continue valuable community paddling initiatives, support local athletes competing nationwide, and preserve an important D.C. landmark!

#SavetheCanoeClub

In the past two years, the 200 members of the Washington Canoe Club have raised nearly $30,000 and donated more than 1,000 hours of time to restore the boathouse. Be it meeting with the National Park Service or physically replacing wooden boards on the dock, WCC members are 100% committed to leading the charge to save this beautiful building on the shores of the Potomac River.

But we can't do it alone.

Initial funds have been used to make critical improvements to the existing grounds to ensure the continuing operation of the club and its community activities, and to commission essential activities in advance of the rehabilitation, such as architectural assessments and environmental impact studies. Over the next 5 years, Friends of the Washington Canoe Club, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization run by WCC member volunteers, will need to raise over $1.5 million for boathouse rehabilitation.

Your tax deductible donation will help us #SavetheCanoeClub!

  • Write a check to Friends of Washington Canoe Club, note "Boathouse Rehabilitation" on the note line, and send to:

Friends of Washington Canoe Club
Attn: Boathouse Rehabilitation
PO Box 25449
Washington, DC 20027

  • Submit your donation using PayPal below, through their secure payment gateway:
Please enter your donation amount:

or contribute by attending the WCC Sunset Dinner Fundraiser June 17, 2017


Keep up to date with WCC's boathouse restoration efforts: