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The Cornell Boathouse
Marist’s riverfront Cornell Boathouse is unique
among American historic properties because of
the role it played during the golden era of colle-
giate rowing. It is the only structure remaining
from Regatta Row, where competing universi-
ties built boathouses to lodge their crews for
the premier rowing event in the nation, the
International Rowing Association’s National
Championship, held on the Hudson River at
Poughkeepsie almost every year from 1895
until 1949. Also represented on Regatta
Row were the University of California, the
University of Washington, and the University
of Wisconsin. Marist completed a restoration
of the Cornell Boathouse in 2008.
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel is one of a
kind among places of worship at colleges and
universities. Built by the Marist Brothers in
1954, its octagonal shape was innovative for its
time, allowing worshippers to sit anywhere and
still be equidistant from the altar at the center.
To design the building, Br. Nilus Donnelly,
director of construction at the College, tapped
Clarence H. Pratt of the architectural frm
Ashton, Huntress, and Pratt in Lawrence, Mass.,
with whom he had worked previously. Br. Nilus
led the construction crew of brothers who lived,
studied, and worked on the campus of what
was then Marian College. Br. Paul Ambrose
Fontaine, the superior of the College, also
played a major role, most memorably organiz-
ing a team of brothers to carry the chapel’s roof
beams on their shoulders across Route 9 from
a railroad stop to the building site.
The shape of the chapel lent itself to instal-
lation in 2002 of a 360-degree stained-glass
window. Designed by Ellen Miret for Rohlf ’s
Studio of Mount Vernon, N.Y., the window
ref lects symbols related to the Jewish and
Christian scriptures, the Marist Brothers,
and Marist College and is made of glass from
around the world.
Francis Cardinal Spellman attended the
dedication of the chapel on May 2, 1954. “This
is the church of the future,” he said.
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel
The Payne Mansion Boathouse
The Cornell Boathouse
Matthew Gillis
Al Nowak/On Location
Matthew Gillis