Many students on their way to Fresh Pond to enjoy the bracing effect of a quiet afternoon's skate have doubtless noticed along Lake View Avenue a large, square, brick building, with massive granite columns in front. This structure, known as the Cambridge Water Works, was commenced in 1872, completed a year later, and together with the machinery, boilers, and a long narrow extension in the rear, cost the city about $2,000,000. A subterannean conduit runs from the build to Fresh Pond, through which the water flows and fills three deep stone wells in the cellar of the building. By means of a powerful engine the water is forced up one of these wells into a large iron pipe. Through this pipe the water is conducted to the reservoir on reservoir hill, about half a mile away.
There is another engine in a different part of the room, the exact counter-part of the first, so that if one should get out of order, the other could be put into immediate use. Sometimes in summer, when the season has been unusually dry, both of these engines have to be kept going in order to keep the city supplied with water.
Between these engines is a smaller one of a similar kind, which forces the water up into a high white tower next to the reservoir, called the high service water tower. The water here rises to a height of 45 feet above the level of the reservoir, and by this means, some of the houses in Cambridge which stand on very high ground and otherwise could not be provided with water, are kept fully supplied with it. It is a great pity that the Halls in the college yard do not derive any direct benefit from this splendid system of water supply, which cannot be surpassed, except in a few of the largest cities in this country.