Times Past

Times Past

In 1871, the University Barge Club joined forces with the Philadelphia Barge Club to construct a new boathouse. Originally, it was a symmetrical, neo-Gothic, two-bay structure of green serpentine stone, topped by a board and slate mansard roof. Each club had a separate entrance, staircase, boat storage area, and changing facilities. In many ways, it was a miniature version of College Hall, the main building of Penn’s new West Philadelphia campus. Both structures were built of the same green serpentine stone, which in the years to come crumbled in Philadelphia’s sooty air. In a strange design coincidence, College Hall’s top floor boasted a similar symmetrical layout for a suite of rooms built specifically for two rival literary societies: the Philomathean and the Zelosophic.