The Green Lake Community Boathouse Opens to the Public

Date Posted: 05.01.2024

Seattle Parks and Recreation recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Green Lake Community Boathouse, expanding water access and programs at one of the most heavily used parks in the city. The accessible boathouse is envisioned as a gathering place for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to connect through public water sports.

The new 10,800-square-foot boathouse features expanded and more efficient boat storage at the ground level. The upper level features a large multipurpose space for meetings, community events, work-outs and instruction, as well as program offices, restrooms and locker/changing facilities. LEED Certification is anticipated.

The highly visible project also includes a new 3,600-square-foot public plaza, pier and ramp, as well as renovation of the existing shell house and public restroom building built in 1950. The boathouse and related improvements are positioned to maximize use of the tight shoreline site and benefit park users traveling along the adjacent high-traffic walking/biking trail.

The new boathouse, plaza, pier and ramps are fully accessible—significantly expanding access to the water for people of all abilities. The project has already enabled the launch of a new public adaptive rowing program and expansion of the existing para canoeing program.

The Small Craft Center—which includes the existing shell house, new boathouse, pier and surrounding site on Green Lake’s southern shore has been the home of Green Lake Crew since 1948, started in part by storied UW rowing coach Al Ulbrickson and other civic leaders. It is believed to be the oldest public junior rowing program in the nation. In 1963, long before Title IX, the crew added a girl’s program, another first for the region. Green Lake continues to be the only place in North Seattle that offers public, low-cost rowing, paddling, and sailing programs in one place.

Mithun provided architecture and interior design services. Additional members of the design team include MIG|SVR, civil engineer; Lund Opsahl, structural engineer; Sider + Byers, mechanical engineer; Tres West Engineers, Inc, electrical engineer; Site Workshop, landscape architecture; Terracon, geotechnical engineer; Wetherholt and Associates, Inc, building envelope; Confluence Environmental Company, special permitting consultant; RC Consulting, cost estimator; and O’Brien360, sustainability consultant. Kassel & Associates was the general contractor.

Special thanks to community advocates and partners including the Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council, the Associated Recreation Council, Friends of Green Lake Crew, and the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Advisory Council.