Echo Bridge // 1876

Spanning the Charles River between Upper Falls Village in Newton and Needham, the Echo Bridge, is one of the most stunning structures around Boston. While not technically a building, I couldn’t help but share one of my favorite off-the-grid places to explore in the region.

The bridge served as crossing for water to be transported from the Sudbury River to the growing City of Boston. The entire aqueduct transported water over 18 miles from Farm Pond in Framingham and was stored in the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston. Due to the topography of Hemlock Gorge in Newton, a large elevated bridge was required, creating one of the biggest engineering marvels around Boston. George W. Phelps, a contractor from Springfield, MA was selected as the builder of the bridge with a low bid. The 500′ bridge features a total of seven arches, with the largest spanning the Charles River being 137′, the second largest masonry arch span in the U.S. upon its completion.

Echo Bridge is constructed of large granite block and brick, which was held in place by wooden framework until the arches would be able to support their own weight at the top of the arches. Echo Bridge gets its name from the acoustical phenomenon when you stand at the base of the arch at the river and when speaking, the sound reverberates and echoes back and forth.

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