9

Chestnut Hill Reservation

Guidebook Section: Central

Location

 

Located in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston

Get here by MBTA: A 0.3 mile walk from Reservoir Green Line station

Other maps and aerial photos:
Bing

Overview

A popular 1.5-mile circular path with pleasant vistas of Back Bay skyscrapers, the Reservation was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted’s son and constructed in the late 1860s to give Boston clean drinking water and a rural park.

Still largely intact, the waterworks with its three gatehouses at water’s edge and three majestic pump houses on Beacon Street is considered a masterpiece of 19th century engineering and landscape design. Both Cochituate and Sudbury Aqueducts are still connected to the Reservoir, but the system has been disabled.

Today the paths around the Reservoir and through the woods are open for public use, where local birders have found good vantage points for the somewhat frequent viewing of rarities in migration. The DCR recreation center offers seasonal swimming and ice skating.

Size: 120 acres including 88-acre reservoir and surrounding parkland

Longest Walk: 1.5 miles


Acquired: 1867

Owner & Administrator Websites


Photo Gallery

History

1867-70

Reservoir built consisting of two large basins separated by causeway (now Chestnut Hill Road).

1880-90s

Pumping stations constructed

1950

Upper basin filled in and land sold to Boston College to be athletic fields

1970s

Lower basin and pumping stations taken off line

2005

Several old pumping buildings converted to condominium residences as part of the Waterworks development

2010

Waterworks Museum opens in the former High Service Pump Station building.

Chestnut Hill Reservation Map


 

Features

Accessible Trails, Biking, Birding, Conservation Area, Historic Site, Pond, Scenic View, Sports Fields
 

Additional Information

MWRA history

Wikipedia

Waterworks Museum

Birding reports

The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum: Big Buildings, Big Machines, Big Stories (an 11-minute video by Ellie Goldberg and Laura McCarthy Johnson in association with NewTV)

Brighton Allston Historical Society

Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool

Reilly Memorial Skating Rink