Metro   City

Metropolitan Waterworks Museum

Thank You! Your rating has been saved.

Ever wonder where your water comes from? Before you say "from the tap," think again. It had to get to the tap from somewhere. But where? And how?

That's where we come in.

The Waterworks Museum is located on the site of the original Chestnut Hill Reservoir and pumping station. By the 1880's, Boston's water system couldn't keep up with the rapid growth of the city and its water needs. Chestnut Hill was identified as the location for a new reservoir and main pumping station. The original station was built in 1887, but by the 1890's, it was clear that demand had quickly outstripped the ability to transport sufficient water. The need for more water resulted in the installation of increasingly powerful (and enormous!) pumping engines, which operated every day until the 1970's, when the site was taken offline, and Boston's water supply shifted to the Quabbin Reservoir. The Chestnut Hill Reservoir, however, is still used as a back-up source of water in case of emergencies.

So why visit us?

We tell some important regional stories about clean water, health, people, brilliant engineers, and magnificent architecture. Our stories tell how Boston grew to be the city it is today.

You can explore the remarkable machinery, wonder at the massive wrenches that kept the pumps running, and marvel at the beautiful architecture. You can take a walking tour of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, the centerpiece of an extraordinary landscaping project, or venture out on an all-day bus excursion, led by experts on all things water-related. You can attend special events, talks, or if you are a teacher, visit with a school group. In the future, you will be able to hear podcasts of some of our events!

If that's not enough, come because it's a fun way to learn about your city's history!

Explore Related Categories

Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Wed11:00 AM4:00 PM
Thr11:00 AM4:00 PM
Fri11:00 AM4:00 PM
Sat11:00 AM4:00 PM
Sun11:00 AM4:00 PM
Notes: Summer (April 1 - December 31) Wed. 11am-9pm, Th. - Sun. 11am-4pm Closed Monday and Tuesday Museum Holidays (closed) Please check our homepage for holiday and/or unforseen closing notices New Year’s Day January 1 Independence Day July 4 Labor Day Weekend September 1-2 Thanksgiving Day November (fourth Thursday) Christmas Eve December 24 Christmas Day December 25


Be the first to add a review for this item.

Please write a review for this item

Send a Message