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Calf Pasture Pumping Station

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1881–1883, George A. Clough. 435 Mount Vernon St.

The centerpiece of an innovative municipal system for sewage disposal, the Calf Pasture Pumping Station attracted national attention. Responding to complaints of poor sanitation and frequent epidemics, the City of Boston sent City Engineer Joseph P. Davis on a European study tour in 1876. His 1878 report led to the establishment of the Boston Improved Sewage Commission and the creation of a system of sewer lines running to intercepting sewers connected to a central pumping station at Columbia Point. George A. Clough, the first Boston city architect, provided the plans for the rough-granite, crenellated Romanesque Revival building that contained two giant steam-pumping engines designed by Erasmus Darwin Leavitt Jr. of Cambridgeport. A large pipe from the pumping station carried the sewage to Moon Island, where it was released into Boston Harbor with the retreating tides. The pumping station continued as the headworks for the system until 1968, when a new treatment plant was constructed on Deer Island.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Calf Pasture Pumping Station", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 255-255.

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