New Rochelle poised to raze historic rowing club

Seven years ago, the New Rochelle Rowing Club's building was recognized by the City Council as historic.

Tuesday night, the council is expected to vote on awarding a contract for its demolition.

The building, constructed in 1900 after a fire destroyed the club's previous headquarters on the site, overlooks Long Island Sound on about a quarter-acre of city-owned Hudson Park.

The structure was damaged nearly two-and-a-half years ago when Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast.

Since then, the building has been a point of contention.

With club members contending it can be repaired, the city's Bureau of Buildings has recommended the City Council vote Tuesday to award a $120,360 contract to Yonkers-based Capital Industries Corporation to level the structure.

To speed the process, the city accepted three "informal" bids and did not formally put the project out to bid, as is normally required for projects exceeding $35,000, City Manager Chuck Strome said.

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Recent News - No Bulldozers

To all of our supporters, interested community members, touring kayakers, oarswomen and oarsmen. Last week, the city and the NRRC agreed to take an extra month before anyone takes action in court or otherwise.  That is a wonderful outcome. It gives us all time to communicate and reflect. 

Over the past several days we have encountered a major misconception... "that the rowing club owns the building but the city owns the land."  Based on that statement a decision-maker might conclude that if the building was gone the rowing club would be gone.   

In fact, quite the opposite is true. The land was conveyed to the city in 1886 in a deed which contained the provision that the NRRC must remain on the land where it was then located and is now located. According to expert real estate counsel's advice, this constitutes a  legally enforceable covenant running with the land.

Having said that, our current structure is built like a rock. We'd like to keep it, improve it and maintain it in a place of honor among the city's historic structures.

New Rochelle Rowing Club
Board of Directors

A Mistaken Premise

The City of New Rochelle has forced volunteers to stop work clearing debris resulting from hurricane damage to the clubhouse. The city posted this notice on the door and sent us a letter threatening to demolish the building. There was no warning. There has been no discussion. 

The action by the city is based on a series of mistaken premises. We have the absolute right to occupy our space in Hudson Park. We have an engineer’s report stating that the structure is safe. A major law firm has taken on our case pro bono and has delivered the appropriate legal response to the city. 

With your donations and additional funds from our members we are perfectly capable of continuing the club for another 130 years. We hope that the city and mayor Noam Branson will join us in this effort.

Board of Directors
New Rochelle Rowing Club