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brittingham boathouseThe Madison Parks Foundation, in support of the Camp Randall Rowing Club, has stepped in to save and restore the oldest building still in use in the Madison Park System today. The historic Brittingham Boathouse is one of the surviving masterpieces of our link to the Madison Parks and Pleasure Drive Association. Located on Monona Bay adjacent to our downtown and on a major entryway to our city, the Brittingham Boathouse was originally constructed in 1910 and has been listed on the National Historic Landmarks Registry since 1977. Over the past many decades, the building condition deteriorated mostly because of unstable dredge materials used for fill under the original structure. Although it was partially restored in 1980, no significant funding was available to accomplish the amount of work that was really needed.

brittingham boathouse phase 1In 2005, the partnership between the Madison Parks Foundation, the City of Madison and the Camp Randall Rowing Club restarted the effort to save this special building. Phase I ($900,000+) has been completed and included the lifting and relocation of the structure to an adjacent location with more stable soils and the complete historic restoration on the exterior of the building along with the establishment of historic landscaping surrounding the structure.

We are now gearing up for the second and final phase of the project and that will be the historic renovation of the building's interior spaces plus th e addition of restrooms and lockerroom facilities for the many rowers who train at this location. The handcrafted interior of the building consists mostly of cypress wood with architectural details that could never be replaced today. Phase II funding will need to be at the $400,000 level. 2010 will be the 100th anniversary of the dedication of this building.

On May 3, 2007, the 2007 Historic Preservation Award was presented to Camp Randall Rowing Club by the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation in recognition of its outstanding preservation efforts on the Brittingham Boathouse. On June 11, 2007, the Wisconsin Historical Society Board of Curators and Awards Committee selected Camp Randall Rowing Club and the Madison Parks Division to receive the Historic Preservation Award. These awards honor the Madison Parks Division and Camp Randall Rowing Club’s work in protecting the Brittingham Boathouse, a Wisconsin historic property.

                                                       Madison Parks Foundation,   P.O. Box 2987,   Madison, WI 53701-2987,   (608) 266-4339       Contact Us
Madison Parks Foundation