Quincy, Mass. Historical and Architectural Survey

106 Penn Street

Quincy's first public water supply was provided by the Quincy Water Company, chartered in 1883, and in that same year a pumping station and a brick-enclosed well was erected on Penn Street, close to the tracks of the Old Colony Railroad. The well, which stands in the station's front yard, tapped the subsurface water available from the Town Brook watershed. From the station, the water was pumped to a standpipe on Penn's Hill, near the Braintree town line, for distribution to the street mains. In response to a growing demand for water services, the Quincy Water Company in 1886-7 constructed the 180 million gallon Quincy Reservoir, also known as the Braintree Dam, near the headwaters of Town Brook in Braintree. The water was then carried to the pumping station via a 12 inch cast iron pipe about one and a quarter miles long. By 1890 the City of Quincy had entered into the planning of the expansion of the Quincy Water Company's system and purchased the Penn Street pumping station in 1892. Faced with a further expansion of the city water system or joining the new Metropolitan Water District. the City of Quincy chose the latter in 1897. After 1899 the use of the pumping station was discontinued and the building is now privately owned. However, until at least 1957, the old Quincy Reservoir supplied water for the Quincy Yard and the Old Colony Laundry for industrial purposes.

William Churchill Edwards. Historic Quincy, Massachusetts,1957. p. 320-321.
Peter Stott. A guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Eastern Massachusetts, forthcoming 1987.
W.P.A. Tracing, Project #22286, Building Department, City of Quincy, 1941.

This simple brick cross gabled Italianate building was originally the pumping station for Quincy. Built in 1883 by the Quincy Water Company, it contained an office, shop and on the second floor, an apartment for the superintendent. It is these varied functions which gives the building a residential look. Architectural ornamentation is limited to the segmental arched window hoods, plain cornice board under the eaves and granite sills. It is a fine example of its style and unusual in the use of brick for walling, as most Italianate houses were built in either wood or stone.