For Immediate Release - July 09, 2012


Rehabilitation Project demonstrates Patrick-Murray Administration Commitment to the Investing in State Parks

Houghton’s Pond
Governor Patrick cuts the ribbon marking the grand re-opening of the Houghton's Pond Bathhouse. (Photo Credit: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office) View additional photos.

MILTON – Monday, July 9, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated the grand re-opening of the Houghton’s Pond Bathhouse on the Department of Conservation's (DCR) Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. A $4 million rehabilitation project funded through DCR's Capital Fund, the new bathhouse offers improved recreational amenities, complements historic resources and natural surroundings, makes use of environmental technologies and materials, improves public safety through better staff oversight and enhances accessibility.

"Parks are the centers of many of our communities and investing in them improves the quality of life for generations of our citizens," said Governor Patrick.

“By enhancing our outdoor recreational spaces we’re promoting healthy activities,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. “Since taking office in 2007, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray have made a strong commitment to investing in our state’s parks, and this project is just another example of that commitment.”

The work includes:

  • Removal of existing 1968 bathhouse and construction of a new 4,500 square foot  bathhouse with 23 toilets, lifeguard room, manager’s office, first aid, boat room, secure storage, two family toilet rooms, outdoor rinsing and changing stalls.
  • New outdoor terraces to transition from the bathhouse down to the beach eliminating the 11-foot-high concrete walls.
  • Erosion controls including new planting improvements along the beach.
  • Construction of a new universally accessible nature boardwalk along Marigold Marsh.
  • New educational panels installed along the nature boardwalk.

“Many public officials and community members provided input for this project through the many public meetings held over the past seven years,” said DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert. “Their voices were heard and we were happy to incorporate many of their suggestions into the final design.” 

Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area and bathhouse regularly hosts as many as 100,000 visitors during the summer season and up to 8,000 on peak summer days.

First occupied as a summer camp by Native Americans, Ralph Houghton settled what would be known as Houghton’s Pond in 1690. By 1916, a series of small bathhouses was spread out along the shores. The visitor’s center was constructed in 1910 as a public restroom and the refreshment pavilion was constructed in 1930. In 1968, all the original bathhouses were demolished and one central bathhouse was constructed. In the 1990’s, the bathhouse changing rooms, showers and “basket room” were closed to the public and in 2010, new sanitary sewer and electrical upgrades were brought to the building in advance of building replacement.

The new three-season bathhouse provides a compatible addition to the historic visitor center and refreshment pavilion in the Houghton’s Pond recreational complex.  The recreation area offers a variety of recreational activities, including swimming, fishing, picnicking, and hiking as well as a playground, ball fields and concession pavilion.

Since 2007, the Patrick-Murray Administration has been committed to investing in the Commonwealth's state parks – enhancing recreational experiences for residents and visitors all across the Commonwealth, especially parks located in urban areas. Keeping with the Commonwealth's land conversation plan, the Patrick-Murray Administration has invested a historic $230 million in land conversation over the last five years, focusing on three goals: investing in preserving working farms and forests, protecting large natural landscapes for habitat and state parks.


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