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MWRA Honored with 2019 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award 

June 12, 2019

BOSTON – The Mass­a­chu­setts Historical Commission has recently honored the Mass­a­chu­setts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) with the 2019 Mass­a­chu­setts Historical Commission Preser­va­tion Award for reha­bil­i­ta­tion and restoration of the Rosemary Brook Siphon Gatehouse Buildings in Wellesley, MA. The MWRA accepted the award at the Mass­a­chu­setts Historical Commission’s 41st Annual Preser­va­tion Awards ceremony of June 6, 2019. CDM Smith’s project team that was responsible for the design of the reha­bil­i­ta­tion and restoration of the two buildings was also acknowl­edged for their contri­bu­tions.

The Mass­a­chu­setts Historical Commission's Annual Preser­va­tion Awards Program works to recognize outstanding projects and individuals responsible for protecting historic assets, revi­tal­iz­ing neigh­bor­hoods, adding to the revenues of cities and towns, and preserving community character. 

Completed in 1878, the East and West Rosemary Brook Siphon Gatehouses are twin flat-roofed, one-story rectangular brick structures that cover the two ends of the Rosemary Brook siphon pipes and the Sudbury Aqueduct. The Sudbury Aqueduct and the Rosemary Brook structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Though the structures were maintained as an emergency trans­mis­sion system for the Mass­a­chu­setts Water Resource Authority’s (MWRA) back-up water supply, the Gatehouses had recently fallen into disrepair, with extensive roof damage and dete­ri­o­ra­tion of mass masonry walls. 

CDM Smith’s team, including preser­va­tion architects and structural engineers worked with the MWRA to inspect and assess the Gatehouses and explore alter­na­tives ranging from demolition to restoration. Ultimately, the team concluded that the 19th century archi­tec­ture held important cultural and historic signif­i­cance that merited preser­va­tion. Thus, they recommended restoration of the structural integrity and character-defining features of the two Gatehouses to serve as visual and functional elements of the Sudbury Aqueduct. Original sandstone trim, brick and cast-iron doors and grates were restored, while new roofs were erected to protect the structures for years to come. Often referred to as the “Castles” by residents and passers-by, the restored Gatehouses now serve as a reminder of the importance of the Sudbury Aqueduct in the development of Boston in the 19th century.

“The Mass­a­chu­setts Historical Commission sincerely appreciates all efforts to preserve the Common­wealth’s valuable historic properties,” said William Galvin, Mass­a­chu­setts Secretary of the Common­wealth and Chairman of the Mass­a­chu­setts Historical Commission. “The careful restoration of the Rosemary Brook Siphon Gatehouse buildings demon­strates a strong commitment to historic preser­va­tion that goes well beyond what is normally expected.” 

“I am proud to have led this team effort to preserve these historic structures for future generations," said Jim Pescatore, CDM Smith vice president and project manager. 

CDM Smith is a privately owned engineering and construc­tion firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, trans­porta­tion, energy and facilities. Passionate about our work and invested in each other, we are inspired to think and driven to solve the world's envi­ron­men­tal and infra­struc­ture challenges.

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