Calf Pasture Pumping Station

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The Calf Pasture Pumping Station was the first sewage pumping station in Boston. It was commisioned as part of a plan to alleviate a growing problem of air quality in the city due to accumulating sewage. Boston built a network of public sewage lines which terminated at the Calf Pasture station where the waste water was then pumped through a tunnel under Dorchester Bay to Moon Island and then released into the ocean.

The building was designed by architect George Albert Clough, and built on Old Harbor Point which was a remote location at the time of construction.

The building was completed in 1883, although additions were made several times afterward. It continued as the main headworks of Boston's sewage system until 1968 when a more modern facility was constructed on Deer Island.

Today the building is abandoned and shuttered, surrounded by heaps of dirt and construction equipment. The interior is in an advanced state of decay, although as a whole the building still appears to be reasonably sound. The pumping station was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1990, but there are currently no plans for reuse.

Columbia Point
Dorchester, MA 02125


Joseph Walsh May 13, 2013
Eric Larson May 31, 2015
I publish a hobby magazine called Horn & Whistle, dedicated mainly to acoustic signals, but I also occasionally cover other things of interest, particular plants that run by, or previously ran by steam. I would like your permission to include a few of the pictures of the recent interior of the Calf Pasture pumping station in the next issue of the publication. I visited Calf Pasture twice as a teen; at that time it was still running although the original steam equipment had been removed before I was even born. I remember it as being a very impressive if somewhat gloomy and mysterious building. The electric pumps were actually larger than they look in the pictures, and the plant was quite noisy in the area of the three horizontal pumps.