History

A masterpiece of nineteenth century urban planning, engineering, architecture and landscape design The Chestnut Hill Reservoir was completed in 1870. The Metropolitan Water Board created the city's first large pastoral park, laying out a grand carriage drive and greenbelt around the reservoir. Arthur Vinal's, Richardsonian Romanesque style, High Service Station, completed in 1888, still houses the steam powered pumping engine designed by E.D. Leavitt. The Leavitt Engine was designated a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 1973 and remains in place in what is soon to become The Waterworks Museum. The Beaux Artx style Low-Service Station designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, the architects of Boston's South Station, was completed in 1901. The facade of this exquisite example of Golden Age architecture is clad in Indiana limestone. Many of the plantings on the site are survivals from the original Olmsted Brothers plan.

The Waterworks Museum is located on the site of the original Chestnut Hill Reservoir and pumping station. You can explore the remarkable machinery, wonder at the massive wrenches that kept the pumps running, or just marvel at the beautiful architecture. Read the full history