Buffalo, New York
In 1905, University of Wisconsin oarsman & Wright family friend, Cudworth Bye, asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design a new boathouse for the Badger crew team on the Yahara River. FLW quickly agreed, and the boathouse was designed, but never built. It was briefly given new life in Wright’s Wasmuth Profile, which was a catalog of work FLW considered his best. Unfortunately, the design was filed away once again.
It wasn’t until several decades later, that a Buffalo, NY group came across the design, and purchased the rights. In 2007, the boathouse Frank Lloyd Wright designed a century earlier opened on the bank of the Niagara River.
The Fontana Boathouse is home to the West Side Rowing Club. Luckily, for the Frozen Foursome, it is also home to Canisius College Crew. We were checking out the boathouse exterior, when we met Kerri Brace, the head coach of the Canisius Rowing program. She was incredibly kind, and offered us a brief tour of the inside of the boathouse.
The boathouse was dedicated as The Charlie and Marie Fontana Boathouse, in honor of the long time rower and coach at the West Side Rowing Club, and his wife.
Post script: The Golden Griffins rowing team finished sixth at the MAAC Championship, in Coach Kerri Brace’s second year at the helm. Junior Co-captain Emma Vicaretti was named to the All-MAAC first team, and senior Bridget Lillis earned All-MAAC second team honors. Eight members of the team were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.