The Foundry's Rowing Center is located at 1831 Columbus Road in the Flats of downtown Cleveland. Once the site of the first Catholic Church in Cleveland, St. Mary's On-The-Flats, the facility is rich in a diverse history which can be seen throughout the space. Among some of the other organizations and businesses that inhabited the 65,000 square foot facility include: The Buchan Soap Company, The Donnelly Furnace, Purdy & McNeil Lumber, U.S. Bronze Company, The Foundry Equipment Company, The Pipeline Development Co., and The Cleveland Museum of Art.
In 2015, it seemed The Foundry's historic complex would go the way that much of the Industrial Flats had, sliding into neglect and oblivion. Where once industry had built the city, now the city seemed to waste away, sitting on one of its most valuable resources- the Cuyahoga River.
Enter Mike Trebilcock, Chairman and CEO of MCPc, a technology consulting company based in Cleveland. Mike and his wife, Gina, had a vision for the vacant property on Columbus Road. He wanted to build a new, nonprofit rowing facility that would be accessible for youth of all income levels in Cleveland through outreach programs, and which would also be a world-class rowing facility that would attract and breed national talent. Construction began concurrently to limited operation at the Columbus Road facility, where the ribbon cutting was recently held in September of 2017. The indoor tanks opened in December of 2016, and construction is being finalized.
In 2016, a partnership with Cleveland Metroparks enabled the creation of Cleveland's first community sailing center at the Historic Coast Guard Station at Whiskey Island ("The Station"). The Station was constructed in 1940 and abandoned 36 years later, and has sat empty since. Like much of Cleveland's waterfront, beauty had been left by the wayside as focus shifted to industry.
Foundry Sailing operations began off the Wendy Park beach in 2016, and moved to a temporary dock system at Edgewater Marina in 2017. The Foundry began underwater demolition at the Station on July 24, 2017 to remove decades of abandoned docks and infrastructure; by mid-September a state-of-the-art dock system was completed in the basin of the Station, and Foundry Sailing found a new, more permanent home. Docks are in place for 18 dinghies, three J/22s, two Tartan 10s, a 36' schooner, and the Foundry fleet of safety boats.