Iconic Lights of Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row Will Be Absent for Most of Year

The lights of Boathouse Row in Philadelphia
Image via iStock.

The lights of Boathouse Row, which have been one of the Philadelphia region’s most iconic sights for 44 years, will go dark for most of 2023, writes Matthew Korfhage for Delaware Online.

The lights that have become a beacon for the national rowing scene and a background for many Instagram moments will be down for maintenance starting from March 20. Fifteen19th-century boathouses in Fairmount Park lining the Schuylkill River will go dark.

There is no need to worry, though. Although the process will take months and cost millions of dollars is completed, the iconic illumination will be back and fancier than ever.

The lights are being replaced owing to “significant connectivity challenges, regular power outages, and mounting issues,” said the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in a statement.

To improve the glowy trim and make it more durable, city-enlisted designer The Lighting Practice will install “upgraded technology and durable housing boxes to protect the system from weather and wildlife damages.”

This  $2.1 million project is being funded by Philadelphia and the Joanna McNeil Trust.

Read more about the lights in Delaware Online.


CBS Philadelphia explains why Boathouse Row’s lights will go dark for about eight months in a few weeks.

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