Newton Conservators logo fall photo
 

Newton Park and Conservation Lands

9
  Chestnut Hill Reservation 

LOCATION: Newton, Brookline, and Boston

 
The jogging path along the reservoir
 

Newton Conservators trail map   (Buy a copy of our trail guide)

Location and driving directions on Google Maps

MBTA: A 0.3 mile walk from Reservoir Green Line station

Other maps and aerial photos:   Boston Assessor   Bing   USGS

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

LONGEST WALK: 1.5 miles

ACQUIRED: 1867

ADMINISTERED BY: DCR and MWRA

FEATURES:

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.

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.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

DCR website

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

The Waterworks Museum
The Waterworks Museum

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