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On top of the world

Greta stands as close as she can legally get to the highest point in Boston: The summit of Bellevue Hill in West Roxbury, 338 feet above sea level.

Behind her are two MWRA standpipes, which help keep water pressure up in West Roxbury, Hyde Park and parts of Milton. The round stone one, built sometime before 1900, is on the National Register of Historic Sites. The hill itself is a drumlin created by glaciers 15,000 years ago.

Although obviously designed to be strictly functional, the newer standpipe (which is visible throughout West Roxbury), has some interesting lines:

Since 9/11, the MWRA has installed barbed-wire fences to keep miscreants away from Boston drinking water:

Bellevue Hill is technically part of the Stony Brook Reservation, a state-run forest (in fact, it's so heavily wooded, you can't see downtown Boston, although if you look hard, you can scout out the Great Blue Hill). In the summer of 2003, the MWRA dug up lots of trees from the summit down to the West Roxbury Parkway, apparently to install a new main.

If you want to visit the hill yourself, take the West Roxbury Parkway south from the VFW Parkway. Turn right onto Bellevue Hill Road, then follow Bellvue Hill up for roughly a quarter-mile, then look for the small (like three cars) parking lot on your left. If you want to get there by public transportation, take the Orange Line to Forest Hills, then take any Washington Street bus to West Roxbury Parkway. Cross the parkway to the hillside, then take the first path up the hill.


It is on my list for a summer walk! Thanks.

Ken on March 23, 2004 07:14 PM.

someone told me once that the roof of the parking gagage at the Falkner Hospital in West Roxbury was the highest point.

rich on April 28, 2007 06:51 AM.

I've been going to Bellevue Hill since my dad took me there as a child in the 1950's.

My friends and I often drove up there in our teens, so I was shocked to find the roadway gated.

(of course, I haven't been up there for the last 20 years, or so.)

The towers always had a fence - (just close around the buildings themselves), but the top of the hill always had a parking lot (maybe 20-40 cars) which was open to the public.

Perhaps the MWRA should think of restoring the view which was always lovely.

Joseph McCann on May 25, 2008 07:59 PM.

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