The water supply system for the Boston metropolitan area has come a long way since wooden pipes carried fresh water from Jamaica Pond to Boston Proper in 1795. As the water system evolved, many beautiful utilitarian structures were erected to house the pumps and gates that controlled the movement of water. This project involved the historic restoration of ten gatehouses that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From a functional standpoint, the project’s primary goal was the replacement of antiquated equipment used to control the water levels in the MWRA system of reservoirs. The architectural component of the work involved the historic restoration of the ten gatehouse structures that were originally built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The buildings are all different in size and shape due to the specific conditions of their respective sites and functional requirements. The scope of work included the complete restoration of masonry walls, slate and copper roofing, and the replacement of windows with historically accurate ones. Original iron doors were refurbished and copper clad cupolas, finials and other decorative building elements were replaced or restored.
Stylistically the buildings are reminiscent of the Romanesque style, with stone and brick masonry features that include arched windows as well as distinctive, elaborate rustication of foundations and band courses.