A haven for romantics and nature lovers, this understated icon offers a rare tranquility within the ever-eclectic energy that defines Manhattan.
True to its name — rowboats drift about the adjacent lake, as they have for over 150 years.
Whether celebrating a special anniversary, meeting an old friend for lunch or enjoying a little spontaneous refreshment—The Loeb Boathouse offers one-of-a-kind choices to satisfy all of your senses.
Designed to beautifully coexist with its natural surroundings, The Loeb Boathouse is the only Manhattan venue right on a lake—allowing you to host your wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or corporate event in spectacular fashion.
While you’re here, why not join a 150-year-old tradition and explore the lake in a rented rowboat. Better yet, take a ride in an authentic Venetian gondola. With any luck, your gondolier might even break into song.
Also, listen for the calls of many indigenous birds, as The Loeb Boathouse is a haven for avid birdwatchers. Proof can be found in the official “Bird Register,” an unpretentious 2-inch loose-leaf notebook where observations are recorded.
And finally, don’t forget to look for butterflies. To date, twenty-six species have been noted!
Boating on The Lake in Central Park became popular in the 1860s, and naturally launched a need for a storage facility, or a boathouse.
Initially, boats were boarded at various landings just west of Bethesda Terrace, but increased demand in the pastime called for a more permanent solution.
In 1872, Central Park landscape architect Calvert Vaux designed a beautiful, two-story Victorian, wooden boathouse that was all of twelve feet wide and twenty feet long.
In 1924, Vaux's boathouse was replaced by a rustic, wooden structure that remains somewhat of a mystery. Records and press clippings offer few clues regarding its designer, financing, etc…only to say that it existed and that by the 1950s was in need of repair.
Fortunately, investment banker and philanthropist Carl M. Loeb and his wife Adeline generously donated $305,000 to help create The Loeb Boathouse that stands today. Designed by Chief Park designer Stuart Constable, The Loeb Boathouse officially opened in March of 1954.
Even though it has evolved into a landmark restaurant – it continues to provide boating enthusiasts with rentable rowboats, so they may enjoy one of life's simple pleasures in the heart of New York City.