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“Exquisite Construction of a 100-year old design”

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse
Ranked #43 of 162 things to do in Buffalo
Attraction details
Reviewed February 2, 2014

While we did not get an actual tour of the building, we did have occasion to just walk around the place with the permission of some building users. In truth, the fun stuff to look at is outside anyway. Inside is pretty much a big empty space with racks for storing 30 foot long rowing boats. This design was intended for construction on Lake Mendota in Madison WI but was never built. The 1905 design has been faithfully executed from original designs, BUT the advantage of 100 years of technological advance in construction materials has made a huge difference in the life expectancy of the building. And the roof doesn't leak! Tricky to find, but worth the effort.

1  Thank WesternNYTravelFrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 34 of 42 reviews

Reviewed October 2, 2013

Fontana Exec. Director Anne McCooey will lead you on an enthusiastic tour of the only boathouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Built in 2007, it's beautifully sited on the Niagara River where it meets Lake Erie. (Univ. of Wis., alums will be interested to learn that it was originally designed in 1905, but never built, for for the university in Madison.)

1  Thank Brent45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

My husband and I were the only guests on a tour given by Ann of the Fontana Boathouse. She was an excellent guide having been involved with the building process from the beginning. It is very interesting to see an old Wright design built in recent times. Originally designed for a riverside location near Madison, Wisconsin some local Buffalo business men who also row had the idea to buy the design and erect it in Buffalo. The story of how it came to be and how the design was changed (and yet kept the same) was very interesting compared to the stories of original Wright buildings. We also enjoyed learning more about crew rowing.

1  Thank norms_mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

When touring the Buffalo area for wedding ceremony spots, we knew it would be perfect for us for many reasons.
- It had a spledid view of the Peace Bridge and the Niagara River connecting to Lake Erie.
- The building is a recently resurrected/built design of locally revered architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. His showcasing of nature and the angles in his designs just wowed us.
- Anne, the director of the building, was extremely kind, informative, and helpful with every question and concern. When we went to the initial meeting to check this place out, we were nervous about them allowing our dog in the building. Anne made us feel at ease immediately when she came downstairs to greet us with a rambunctious family dog leading the way. Everything about our interaction with her was easy-going and stress-free, unlike most places we visited.
- We could easily see this place driving by on the interstate 190, so we could always be reminded of our wedding day when passing.

Our wedding ceremony was yesterday, and went off without a single problem. Hats off to Anne for helping us organize our ceremony and make sure that it was above and beyond what we wanted. You could tell she really cared about us and put in lots of extra work to make us happy. I would HIGHLY suggest this place for your wedding if you are looking for a Buffalo-centric outdoor ceremony. I would also recommend just checking the place out as a FLW or architecture fanatic.
Our day was amazing, as I knew it would be.

3  Thank DukeretxaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 19, 2013

My Mother, daughter in law and I toured the boathouse this past weekend. Yes, everyone is correct, Anne is a fabulous tour guide and made the one hour tour utterly fascinating (which was so nice because our tour of FLW's Graycliff in Buffalo back in November 2012 had a poor tour guide and it really makes a HUGE difference). My mother and I are FLW "Groupies" and this was the final property in Buffalo that we had to see to check them all off our bucket list. Our daughter in law came along to see "what all the FLW fuss is about" and was genuinely impressed with the beautiful lines and "hidden aspects" that FLW put into this property, which we found out from Anne was one of his top ten favorite designed buildings! Who knew?! The lights in the locker rooms were spectacular and it was so nice to be able to sit in a FLW chair in the dining room as the majority of his furniture is not able to be touched at most of his properties that we have previously toured. The view of the river is delightful with the Peace Bridge to Canada in the background so it's a great setting. If you are a FLW fan, make sure you put aside a couple of hours to come and visit, it will not disappoint. It is a $10 fee per person to visit and take cash just in case as the day we visited the credit card machine was down! Thanks to Anne for advising us that a FLW designed gas station will be finished this summer and available to view at the transport museum in downtown Buffalo - so we will still have one more FLW building to see next time we return to Buffalo to visit our grandkids :-)

1  Thank mwooduk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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