The Lighting Practice Relights Boathouse Row

The Lighting Practice partnered with Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to replace and upgrade the previous lighting system of Philadelphia’s iconic Boathouse Row. The houses went dark in March 2023 to begin the restoration, and was re-lit in a March 2024 ceremony where Philadelphians got to celebrate the return of Boathouse Row.

“Boathouse Row is an icon in the landscape of Philadelphia”, says TLP Principal Jonathan Hoyle, “The lights that trace the riverside facades of the 10 structures help us know when we are home, and identify Philadelphia to the nation and to the world”.

Boathouse Row Lighting Design

Introduced in 1979, the lighting along Boathouse Row has become an iconic feature along the Schuylkill River, where most of the boathouses date back to the 19th century. The $2.1 million project, managed by Fairmount Park Conservancy, completely replaced the failing system, which struggled with significant connectivity challenges, regular power outages, and mounting issues.

“Fairmount Park Conservancy tasked The Lighting Practice with assessing the situation and developing lighting concepts for a system that will be resilient and sustainably maintainable”, explains Hoyle.

Boathouse Row Lighting Design

The previous lights experienced outages due to damage from animals, weather, and equipment vulnerability, causing ongoing maintenance issues. The Lighting Practice completely redesigned the Boathouse Row lighting system to keep them on for years to come.

Philadelphia Lighting Design

The new lighting system features 6,400 individual LED lights, with 16 million color combinations, allowing for endless lighting scenes to support celebrations along Boathouse Row year-round. Lightings can be programmed to incorporate dynamic lighting scenes, appearing to make them sparkle or “dance” along the boathouses. With the recent upgrades, the lights can fade from one scene to the next, creating ombre effects and highlighting eclectic architectural features of the historic structures with different colors.

Philadelphia Lighting Design

The Lighting Practice is proud to have been a part of relighting a quintessential Philadelphia landmark, in a city that many of our designers call home.


Boathouse Row

Project Partners

Fairmount Park Conservancy 

Eagle Industrial Electric

Schuylkill Navy


Albert Yee for Fairmount Park Conservancy