Central Park's Iconic Loeb Boathouse Is Closing This Fall — What to Know

The iconic NYC restaurant and attraction will close on Oct. 16.

Central Park Boathouse
Photo: Jorecks/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The iconic Loeb Boathouse in Central Park will close this fall, marking the end of an era for the historic building beloved by both tourists and New Yorkers.

The boathouse, which has stood in its current form since the 1950s and offers visitors the chance to rent rowboats and enjoy a meal on the lake, will close for good on Oct. 16, The New York Times reported, citing a notice filed with the New York State Department of Labor.

"Due to rising labor and costs of goods, the business will be permanently closing," the company wrote in the notice.

"It's a very difficult place to operate," Dean J. Poll, the operator, told the NYT. "It's the location, the seasonality, [its] access and [its] expenses."

The boathouse, which has been featured in several classic films like "When Harry Met Sally," was first designed by Central Park landscape architect Calvert Vaux in 1872 as a two-story wooden Victorian building, according to the boathouse website. But the building itself — 12 feet wide and 20 feet long at the time — was later replaced by a rustic wood structure in 1924 and then eventually refurbished and reborn as the Loeb Boathouse in 1954.

While the boathouse is closing down, officials from the Department of Parks and Recreation told the NYT they plan to find a new operator "as soon as possible" and are trying to accommodate people who have scheduled corporate events or weddings there.

In the meantime, visitors to Central Park can still head over to the boathouse before it closes and rent a rowboat or gondola for an iconic New York City experience starting at only $20 per hour.

Beyond the boathouse, park goers can visit other Central Park institutions like the Central Park Reservoir, the open-air Delacorte Theater, or go for a picnic in the Sheep Meadow (so-called for the flock of sheep that used to graze there).

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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