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Fire and Water: An Exploration of the Great Fire of Boston

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Venue:Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
Dates:Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Ages:Kids, Teens, Adults
Cost:Free see below
fire and water an exploration of the great fire of boston photoThe Metropolitan Waterworks Museum is pleased to announce the opening of Fire and Water: An Exploration of the Great Fire of Boston, the new exhibition in the Overlook Gallery at the Waterworks Museum. Opening June 2, 2021, this exhibition will be on display through the summer of 2022.

On November 9th, 1872, a fire was first noticed at 83-85 Summer Street in the commercial district of Boston around 7:00pm. The blaze that ensued would come to be remembered as “The Great Fire of Boston,” a lengthy and devastating conflagration that wiped out 776 buildings, caused 1 billion dollars of property damage (in today’s currency), and resulted in many ruined lives.

Fire and Water will examine how both the Boston Fire Department and Water System struggled to keep up with explosive population growth in 19th century Boston. Visitors will see how each evolved both before and after the Great Fire of Boston in 1872, and why this infamous event was such a crucial turning point in their development.

This exhibition will feature a variety of high-resolution photos showing the aftermath of the Great Fire, various historic artifacts on loan from the Boston and Bare Cove Fire Museums, and interactive elements – including a computer game where visitors will have their chance to fight the blaze.

This exhibition is designed to appeal to all ages. The museum looks forward to sharing this fascinating story.

About the Overlook Gallery:
With a stunning view of the Great Engine Hall through a wall of glass, the Overlook Gallery serves as a conference room and a place for large temporary exhibits. This room also allows for close examination of the exquisite detail on the Leavitt-Reidler pumping engine, a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

COST↑ top

Free | Donations are appreciated | Walk-in visitors are welcome Wednesdays – Saturdays.



2450 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02467 map
Phone: 617-277-0065


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