Museums

Metropolitan Waterworks Museum Boston

Where is it at?

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Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
2450 Beacon Street
Boston
MA
02467
Tel: 617-277-0065

Directions

If you are driving, head to 2450 Beacon St, Boston. It is opposite the reservoir. If you are coming into Chestnut Hill Ave Station, just walk down Chestnut Hill Ave towards Cleveland Circle. From here, just walk 7-10 minutes west on Beacon Street,

Where are we going today?

Do you ever look at your tap and wonder where water comes from?  Do you love the sound and smells of steam engines?  Wonder how they work?

Metropolitan Waterworks Museum will answer all those questions for you!  They will tell you and your family the story of the country's first metropolitan water systems through fascinating exhibitions and educational programs.  You will learn about engineering, architecture, public health and social history.

There museum has three really cool, and huge retired steam powered pumping engines in the Great Engine Hall.  Each pump is different - see if you can see why!

There are some touch screen monitors and stands with animations to show you how all the gadgets work, like pistons and gears - can you imagine how they would have all kept things working back in its day? 

There is also an interesting video you can watch where you can see what 19th century water engineering would have been like.

So get started using your imagination on what life would have been like in the 19th Century, and how all those people managed to supply Boston with the water you know and love today!

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree but suggested donation $5
  • ChildrenSame as adult
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

Winter (Jan-March) Wed-Sun 11am-4pm; Summer (April-Dec) Th-Su 11am-4pm, W 11am-9pm

year-round

Teachers corner

Field trips to the museum are a great way for students to learn about history as well as engineering and science. The tours are hands-on experiences where learning becomes exciting. All school materials supplied are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Standards.

They also offer after school programs and summer camps!.

I'm Hungry!

The museum is located near Cleveland Circle and Newton Center where you can find lots of restaurants. There are even picnic tables about the reservoir so you can enjoy the sunshine while you eat!.

Healthy Eating!

There are lots of healthy options within the nearby restaurants. .

Any Top Tips?

Parking is limited..

Need a little extra help?

The museum is ADA-compliant and accessible (including restrooms, and parking lot access). There is also brailled exhibit text. There is a wheelchair on site, as well as an elevator. For the hearing impaired, they are developing audio assistive devices..

Baby Facilities

There are changing stations in both the male and female restrooms. The staff can also assist with warming baby food..

Can I get one of those?

What would a trip to a museum be without taking home T shirts, mugs, caps, or books..

More information

Waterworks Wednesday is a fun evening from April to November where they host a variety of programs including lectures, panel discussions, concert and films. .

What people are saying?

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    I went to the Waterworks Museum one Saturday. I didn't know what to expect going in but was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable about the history of Boston's water supply. One of the volunteers, Damian, gave us an hour long tour of the huge water-pumping machinery. His enthusiasm really added a lot to the experience.

    Inside, there are some very impressive video displays and posters. It's obvious that a lot of work went into turning the old pumping station into a museum. 10-year-old me...Read More

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    This free museum is located next to the Chesnut Hill Reservoir in Boston, near the Cleveland Circle T stop. There are massive old steam pumps preserved in a beautiful old building. The museum recently opened, and the displays are very modern. If you liked the clockworks in "Hugo", here three are real-life three story high machines here. This is real 3-D. The only unfortunate thing is that they are no longer running.

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Submit a review

by Rob Bond

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I went to the Waterworks Museum one Saturday. I didn't know what to expect going in but was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable about the history of Boston's water supply. One of the volunteers, Damian, gave us an hour long tour of the huge water-pumping machinery. His enthusiasm really added a lot to the experience.

Inside, there are some very impressive video displays and posters. It's obvious that a lot of work went into turning the old pumping station into a museum. 10-year-old me would been blown away by the three-story pumps and cranks. Kids with an interest in machines would definitely like this place. It isn't very large, so you only need about an hour to see everything.

I think the museum would get more visitors if they highlighted the huge pumps on their signs. If I had known how interesting it would be, I would have gone sooner.

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