Metropolitan Waterworks Museum – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum is located at the original Chestnut Hill Reservoir and pumping station. Built in 1887, it pumped the water for Boston until the supply source was shifted to the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1970s.

It was left to disrepair and treasure hunters until the Friends of the Waterworks began advocating for its preservation in 1991, and in 2005 Massachusetts passed legislation allowing the sale of the site for re-development with preservation restrictions.

Containing amazing architecture and remarkable machines, the museum consists of the Great Engines Hall which houses three historic steam-powered pumping engines.

Know Before You Go

Admission is free, and free guided tours are held regularly throughout the week. The museum also offers a special access tour for $18 that allows visitors to climb into the engines and see the sub-basement level engines that are closed for general admission.

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