Though now more famous as an eatery, the Boathouse was born from a functional need. In the 1860s, boating in Central Park Lake grew in popularity so much that a storage location was needed for the many vessels out on the water. Twelve years later in 1872, Calvert Vaux—Central Park’s landscape architect—built a two-story Victorian-style structure to fill the need.
Vaux’s boathouse was replaced with something simpler in 1924, though it fell into disrepair by the ’50s. It was then that investment banker and philanthropist Carl M. Loeb stepped in and donated $305,000 to build the boathouse that stands today. The current neoclassical structure is most easily recognized for its green hipped and gabled roof and columned terrace brushing against the lake’s edge.