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HISTORY

THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF WHITE ROCK LAKE WAS FAR FROM A DALLAS DESTINATION IN 2000. THE HISTORIC T & P BOATHOUSE WAS IN RUIN. THE 1930’s FILTER BUILDING WAS COVERED WITH GRAFFITI, AND RODENTS HAD MADE IT THEIR HOME. THE PARK NEEDED A FACELIFT, BADLY.

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JOHN MULLEN

A RECREATIONAL ROWER AND RENOWNED DALLAS ARCHITECT, LOOKED AT THE MESS AND SAW THE PERFECT LOCATION TO IMPLEMENT HIS VISION – TO MAKE DALLAS THE NEXT BIG ROWING HUB IN THE U.S. A ROWING FANATIC SINCE THE 80’S, MULLEN SAW POTENTIAL FOR A COMPETITIVE ROWING CLUB TO BE ESTABLISHED IN DALLAS. WHAT BETTER PLACE TO START THAN THE ICONIC WHITE ROCK LAKE? TODAY, MULLEN IS KNOWN AS THE “GODFATHER OF ROWING IN DALLAS” IN RECOGNITION OF HIS UNIQUE VISION AND LONGTIME SUPPORT OF THE ROWING COMMUNITY ON WHITE ROCK LAKE AND BACHMAN LAKE.

JOHN MULLEN FOUNDED WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE, INC. AS A NONPROFIT IN 2003 WITH HIS FRIEND SAM LEAKE. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DALLAS PARKS & RECREATION, THE CITY OF DALLAS, AND DALLAS WATER UTILITIES, THEY TRANSFORMED THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF WHITE ROCK LAKE INTO AN PROJECT TO COMBINE DALLAS HISTORY WITH THE VIBRANT AND GROWING OUTDOOR COMMUNITY AT WHITE ROCK LAKE.

WITH A TOTAL OF $2.7 MILLION RAISED BY PRIVATE CITIZENS, WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE, INC. RESTORED THE CITY OF DALLAS’ RECREATIONAL ASSETS IN JUST FIVE YEARS. THE T & P BOATHOUSE WAS RENAMED THE BOOMERANG AND RE-OPENED FOR STORING LAUNCH AND SAFETY BOATS FOR ROWING COACHES, KAYAKS, CANOES AND PADDLEBOARDS. THE FILTER BUILDING WAS RENOVATED INTO A HIGHLY POPULAR, RENTABLE VENUE FOR PRIVATE AND COMMUNITY EVENTS. IN FACT, SHORTLY AFTER ITS RENOVATION, IT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST DRAWS FOR THE WHITE ROCK LAKE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION.

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THE NEW FILTER BUILDING RECEIVED DESIGN RECOGNITION FROM THE TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION, PRESERVATION DALLAS AND THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS. WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE, INC. THEN GIFTED THE RENOVATED ASSETS BACK TO THE CITY OF DALLAS, BUT IT CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN THE UPKEEP OF THE BUILDINGS AS GOOD STEWARDS TO OFFER PUBLIC RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES AROUND THE LAKE.

THE FILTER BUILDING
THE FILTER BUILDING
THE FILTER BUILDING
THE FILTER BUILDING
THE BOOMERANG
THE BOOMERANG
THE BOOMERANG
THE BOOMERANG

A NEW BOATHOUSE

THE LAST PIECE OF THE PROJECT – THE FORMER SEDIMENT TANKS FOR WATER WORKS – WAS TRANSFORMED INTO A NEW BOATHOUSE. BUT NOT JUST ANY BOATHOUSE. WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE, INC. WANTED DALLAS TO HAVE THE BEST AND BIGGEST BOATHOUSE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS. HENCE, THE STATE-OF-THE-ART, 26,500-SQUARE FOOT WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE WAS BUILT. IT WAS THE NEW PRIDE AND JOY OF DALLAS.

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WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE, INC.’S MAIN GOAL WAS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN A BOATHOUSE, THOUGH. THE NONPROFIT WANTED TO MAKE A REAL IMPACT IN DALLAS THROUGH THE SPORT OF ROWING. ITS VISION WAS TO MAKE ROWING ACCESSIBLE TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY YOUTH. THAT’S WHY WHITE ROCK ROWING WAS BORN! WHITE ROCK ROWING BRINGS YOUTH FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS AND AREAS OF THE DFW METROPLEX TOGETHER TO EXPERIENCE ROWING, BUILD COMMUNITY, AND DEVELOP LEADERSHIP SKILLS, REGARDLESS OF ROWING SKILL LEVEL OR FINANCIAL STATUS. ALUMNI OF WHITE ROCK ROWING HAVE ATTENDED SOME OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES ON ROWING SCHOLARSHIPS AND ACCOMPLISHED THEIR DREAMS THANKS TO THE DOORS THAT ROWING OPENED FOR THEM.

TODAY, WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE IS STILL THE LARGEST IN TEXAS, AND IT REGULARLY HOSTS ROWING REGATTAS, OPEN HOUSES, AND SUMMER CAMPS WHERE ANY YOUTH OR ADULT CAN BE INTRODUCED TO ROWING IN A SAFE AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT.

IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY, THE WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE PROVIDES ACCESS TO EXERCISE EQUIPMENT, SHOWER ROOMS AND BATHROOMS FOR ADULT ROWERS IN THE COMMUNITY AS WELL AS STORAGE SPACE FOR LOCAL ROWING CLUBS FROM SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, JESUIT COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL OF DALLAS, AND URSULINE ACADEMY OF DALLAS. ADDITIONALLY, WHITE ROCK ROWING HAS A FULLY DEVELOPED PROGRAM FOR ADAPTIVE ROWERS AVAILABLE FOR ANY ROWER WITH LIMITED PHYSICAL ABILITIES.

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WHITE ROCK ROWING, OFFICIALLY HOUSED UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF WHITE ROCK BOATHOUSE, INC., IS THE ONLY TWICE-RECOGNIZED NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-WINNING ROWING PROGRAM IN THE CENTRAL REGION, WHICH ENCOMPASSES TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, ARKANSAS, COLORADO AND KANSAS. BY PUTTING OARS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE HANDS OF DALLAS YOUTH, THE ROWING PROGRAM PREPARES ATHLETES FOR SUCCESS IN SPORT AND IN LIFE. IT ALSO PROVIDES FINANCIAL AID FOR ANY YOUTH ROWER DESIRING TO BE A PART OF THE CREW.