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Chestnut Hill Reservation History

Chestnut Hill Reservation History
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General Information

Description -
*Information Provided By Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation*
The Chestnut Hill Reservation is notable for its association with the development of Boston's extensive water supply system, its excellent examples of public architecture designed by prominent architects and its incorporation of a public park and carriage road. The Boston Landmarks Commission has called the property "the finest and most intact 19th-century complex of the metropolitan water system" and referred to the grounds as the "first large-scale rural park-like setting to be developed by the City of Boston." The site's historical significance has been recognized through its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and its designation as a City of Boston Landmark.

Attractions - Many of the historic buildings and landscape elements remain at the Chestnut Hill Reservation, though there have been some changes over time. In 1928, Bradlee Basin was enclosed by a decorative iron fence, intended to limit access and prevent dumping at the property, so as to maintain water quality. A fence of the same design was erected around Lawrence Basin in 1931. Perhaps the most significant change occurred in 1948-1949, when Lawrence Basin – phased out of use after the construction of Quabbin Reservoir and the City Tunnel, which connected Quabbin to Boston – was sold to Boston College. The reservoir was filled and an athletic stadium was erected in 1951.

Recreation - Includes
Historic Sites
Walking Paths
a Swimming Pool
a Skating Rink
and Shoreline Fishing

Climate - Boston experiences a continental climate that is very common in New England, but with distinct maritime influences due to its position on the Atlantic Ocean. Summers are typically hot and humid, while winters are cold, windy and snowy.

Location - Lake Cochituate

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Boston Area -


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