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.

Fort Revere Tower // 1903

The Town of Hull, Massachusetts was first settled in 1622 and officially incorporated in 1644, when it was named for Kingston upon Hull, England. The town juts out into the Boston Harbor, which historically had provided as a defense for approaching vessels into the harbor. As early as 1673, Telegraph Hill in Hull, was used as the highest point in the Boston harbor area from which signals could be sent warning the approach of vessels. The site was first used as a fort in 1776 to defend the port of Boston. Fort Independence was built on top of the hill in 1776-1777, to be succeeded by the much larger Fort Revere in 1903 (see next post). The first telegraph tower was built on the hill in 1827. Several other telegraph stations later occupied the site until 1938, when radio communications made the site obsolete. Though little of the original Revolutionary-era fort remains, the fort which began construction at the turn of the 20th century lasts as a stunning reminder to the importance of coastal defenses, high atop hills. At the highest point of Telegraph Hill this water tower which rises 120 feet off the ground was built in 1903 for the new Fort Revere as the first reinforced concrete water tower in the United States. At the top of the tower, an observation deck (now closed) was also used to send messages to other harbor defenses. The tower was restored in 1975 was designated an American Water Landmark in 2003. It was periodically open to the public until mid-2012 when it was closed due to safety concerns.

James Standish House // 1874

Located on Francis Street in Brookline, the James Standish House, built in 1874, is a notable example of a late Italianate/Stick Style home. The home was apparently built by James Standish, who was listed in directories as a carpenter and builder. Mr. Standish moved to the Boston area from Bath, Maine, where he likely built some of the large sea captains mansions. He married Sarah Grant, who was from Kennebunkport, Maine, and they built this home in Brookline. Within five years, the house was sold and the couple moved to nearby Allston where they stayed. This house is a late example of the ever-popular Italianate style with overhanging eaves and brackets, but with a large central tower. The Standish House is especially noteworthy for its intricate detailing and decorative elements: cresting, crossbucks, dentils, and hexagonal mansard slate roof over the porch.