Cochichuate Standpipe / Roxbury High Fort

Nathaniel J. Bradlee, 1869Olmsted, Olmsted, and Eliot, renovation and improvements, 1895-1916Russo Barr Associates, architects, and Building Conservation Associates, restoration, 2013

Preservation Achievement Award, 2014

The iconic Fort Hill Tower overlooks Roxbury from the top of Highland Park, the site of earthwork fortifications built by the Continental Army during the Siege of Boston. The hill offered a great vantage point to oversee the entire area.

Originally called the Cochituate Standpipe, Bradlee's Gothic Revival style tower stored water drawn from Lake Cochituate in Natick for local residents. Soon obsolete as a water tower after Roxbury was annexed by Boston, the structure and grounds fell into disrepair. Between 1895 and 1916 the firm of Olmsted, Olmsted, and Eliot made improvements to the property, including the addition of an exterior viewing balcony and the reconstruction of the quadrangular shape of the original fort.

In 2013, an extensive restoration paid special attention to historically appropriate methods and materials, including the removal of paint and the restoration of period-appropriate mineral coatings, replacement of window glazing, and repairs to the cast iron staircase, metal roof, and arched wood windows.

Source: Boston Preservation Alliance Image: By Brian Corr - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Images below: Boston Preservation Alliance