Quabbin Lookout Tower // 1940

After the Quabbin Reservoir was filled (more on the history in my last post), the cleared land and body of water, with its over 181 miles of coastline, was seen as not only an engineering marvel, but a place of natural beauty and splendor. Upon a rise in the land and the edge of the reservoir, they saw a perfect location to build a tower that could serve many purposes. The Metropolitan District Water Supply Commission hired the firm of Densmore, LeClear & Robbins to design a tower that would serve as a radio tower, fire station and observation tower to view the reservoir. The structure, while designed in the Arts and Crafts mode, is of modern construction and is comprised of two main parts. The lower portion, is constructed of stone and concrete, with metal casement windows, granite lintels and sills and bronze doors. This section was used for radio equipment. The interior has glazed tile walls and cement floors. The six-story tower has five floors of metal and concrete stairs. At the top is a two-level, glass enclosed observation tower.

3 thoughts on “Quabbin Lookout Tower // 1940

  1. Heli Meltsner November 15, 2022 / 6:19 pm

    What about the design of this building is Arts and Crafts? Just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buildings of New England November 15, 2022 / 7:43 pm

      Heli, I was hoping you wouldn’t catch me on that!! It was hard to categorize this building, but the features which seemed more Arts & Crafts was the shallow roof pitch, exposed rafters, native materials.


      • Heli Meltsner November 16, 2022 / 7:27 pm

        I’ve been thinking about this and suggest that, if a building is pretty much astylistic, one can say so. Except for the tower, it’s quite utilitarian, not even a lintle over the door, as far as I can see, The only “embellishments” are the wildly tall butresses on the tower, which are interesting, as if to keep the thing upright.


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