Metropolitan Waterworks Museum

Metropolitan Waterworks Museum Logo

Basic Information

Address: Metropolitan Waterworks Museum 2450 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
Phone Number: 617-277-0065
Director: Eric Peterson

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Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
Metropolitan Waterworks Museum

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Additional Information

Days and Hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 11am - 4pm for Visitors; Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm for School Groups

The Waterworks Museum interprets unique stories of one of the country's first metropolitan water systems through exhibitions and educational programs on engineering, architecture, social history, Safe Water Access and public health.

Grade Levels:
Group Type: School Groups, Camp Groups, Homeschool Groups, Preschool Groups, University Groups, Special Needs Groups
Disabled Access:

Wheelchair Accessible, Tactile elements for the Visually impaired

Program Type:

The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum offers interactive, hands-on, curriculum based STEM programs for Preschool and K-12 students.

Preschool - 1st Grade Programs:
A Raindrop's Journey
Water and the Three States of Matter
Working Against Water Pollution
What's an Engineer?
Sink or Float

Elementary School Programs
World of Water (2nd - 5th grade)
Simple Machines (3rd - 5th grade)

Middle and High School Programs
Taking Action for Safe Water (6th - 8th gr)
Under Pressure: Engineering Safe Water Access (8th -12th gr)
The Great Water Debate (8th grade)
Protecting Water At the Source (8th – 12th)

Accreditation: American Alliance of Museums
Admission/Tickets: Public Visitation is Free; Preschool Programs: $4 per student; Elementary School Programs: $5 per student; Middle and High School Programs $7 per student
Food: The museum does not sell food or beverages. There are a number of restaurants within a 10 minute walk from the museum. We encourage school groups to have students bring their own lunches, which they may eat at the museum.
Length of Visit: Educational Programs range from 1 to 3.5 hours
Student/Staff Ratio: Ideally 1:15 or better
Max. Group Number: 100
Group Requirements: Minimum number of students to book an educational program is 5 (excepting special needs groups); Maximum number of students in one visit is 100. For students 8th grade and below, the 1:15 ratio of chaperones:students is preferred.
Return Policy: You can change or cancel your educational program reservation up until the day of your visit without penalty.
Exhibits: The Great Engines Hall showcases three late 18th-early 19th century steam powered water pumps and the tools that maintained them. The Overlook Gallery on the second floor has a number of interactive elements and hosts rotating temporary exhibits.
Freebies: Free public tours can be taken at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30. 2:30, and 3:30 each day. We ask that groups of 10 or more make private arrangements.
Gift Shop/Factory Outlet: Some merchandise sold on site
Reservations Needed: Reservations for Private Tours and Educational Programs can be made at any time online or by calling the museum. Please schedule at least 2 weeks in advance.

Limited parking (20 spaces) is available in spaces marked "Museum Visitor" around the side and back of the museum building.

By Train

Take Green Line "B" to the Chestnut Hill Avenue Station. Walk down Chestnut Hill Avenue toward Cleveland Circle. Walk 7-10 minutes west on Beacon Street, with the reservoir on your right. The Waterworks Museum will be on your left.

Take the Green Line "C" to Cleveland Circle Station. Walk 7-10 minutes west on Beacon Street, with the reservoir on your right. The Waterworks Museum will be on your left.

Take the Green Line "D" to Reservoir Station. Walk to your right toward Cleveland Circle. The reservoir will be ahead of you, and a park on the left. Turn left onto Beacon Street. Walk 7-10 minutes straight up Beacon Street, with the reservoir on your right. The Waterworks Museum will be on your left.

Nearby Attractions: Boston College, The Shops at Chestnut Hill, Easy access to downtown Boston attractions via the Green Line Train
Mission Statement:

The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum uses its architecturally magnificent building, mammoth steam pumping engines, and the adjacent historic Chestnut Hill Reservoir to interpret unique stories of one of the country’s earliest metropolitan water systems. Through educational programs and exhibits focused on engineering, architecture, urbanism, public health, and social history, the Museum connects these stories to current issues and future challenges.

Testimonials: Sammi Arnold reviewed Waterworks Museum -- 5 star

September 17, 2018 ·

A beautiful museum with fantastic displays, knowledgeable, and friendly staff, really using its limited space well. A hidden gem from a time long past. I'm so happy they managed to save and renovate this stunning time capsule!

Betty Squirrell Tassone recommends Waterworks Museum.

December 2, 2018 ·

Very Interesting to go see! The gentleman we toured was very knowledgeable !

D.E. Andrews reviewed Waterworks Museum -- 5 star

September 29, 2016 ·

The glory of an American castle: the Waterworks Museum is an inspired engineering marvel beautifully preserved with just enough educational materials to explain without overwhelming. Breathtaking historical venue combining the elegance and vision of a by-gone era while serving a necessary functional purpose! Pure delight. Bringing friends next time!

John L Stokinger reviewed Waterworks Museum -- 5 star

April 18, 2017 ·

I had a great visit with my 91 year old mom. Her last visit was when she was a girl. Her grandfather worked in this building as an engineer. She had toured the facility while the steam engines were running. She was excited to see it in such great condition.

Amy Hillgren Peterson reviewed Waterworks Museum -- 5 star

July 3, 2017 ·

I was here for a party, and it's a marvelous venue with amazing catering and incredible architecture. One of the best places in the U.S. to gather.

Kumar Aakash reviewed Waterworks Museum -- 5 star

April 17, 2017 ·

This is indeed an engineering marvel. An apt example of American supremacy during the industrial revolution. The guides and the historians at the place help to keep it well frozen in tym. Amazing facilities and even better views outside make it a must visit.

M Mc Cormick reviewed Waterworks Museum -- 5 star

May 22, 2016 ·

Holy cow this is cool! I came with History Camp, I'm coming back with friends.

Facility History:

The Chestnut Hill High Service Pumping Station was built in 1887 to house the Steam powered water pumping engines that would supply the city of Boston with its public water supply. In 1974, a change in the source and distribution system made the pumping station obselete and it closed. In the 1990s, the Friends of the Waterworks rallied to preserve the building. The engine room was designated the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum and opened in 2011. The old boiler and coal rooms for the building, as well as the coach house and low- service buildings next door were converted into condominiums.

Social Networking:

Instagram: @metrowaterworks

Additional Information:

To book an education program, please email our Manager of Education Services Tracy Lindboe at