Larz Anderson Lagoon Structures Project

Historic tempietto structure overlooking the Larz lagoon, surrounded by trees.

October 5, 2021

The footbridge remains as last reported, awaiting the installation of the handrails.  The Causeway is mostly complete, with work now proceeding on the two curved staircases that abut the structure, looking towards the Tempietto.  Much of the Tempietto foundation work is complete, with work currently proceeding on the curved retaining walls that abut both sides of the structure. The precast work is a bit delayed from what was reported below, both those pieces are expected to start to arrive in October.  

August 20, 2021

The footbridge is nearly completed.  The new railings are beings fabricated and will be installed later this fall.  The Causeway is under construction and the two main sidewalls are ongoing.   

The foundation work at the Tempietto is also concurrently underway, and that work will continue as this structure is brought up to the surface.  The above ground portion of this structure is being constructed off-site by a concrete pre-caster.  The various components will start to arrive on site in September, and the structure will start to be erected in pieces as the various components are completed.  

 Work is anticipated to continue into the fall.  

June 15, 2021


All three  structures at the Larz Anderson Lagoon have been demolished (Tempietto, Causeway and Footbridge). 


As described below, unexpected subsurface conditions required modifications to the foundation design beneath all three replacement structures, which involve the installation of ductile iron piles beneath the footbridge and causeway, and a modified stone base beneath the Tempietto. This work is currently ongoing, with installation of the Causeway piles occurring first, followed by those beneath the footbridge. 


Work will continue to progress this summer on erecting the three structures from the ground up. The new concrete work at the weir structure, located at the end of the lagoon along Goddard Avenue, is completed. The design team is currently reviewing sample mock-ups of the Tempietto.

May 15, 2021 

The "Temple of Love" was taken down on May 3rd.  Various components of it were salvaged to confirm some of the various details for reproduction of the structure.  Some will be retained for future display of the original structure. 

Work is underway on repairs to the weir structure along Goddard Avenue. This is the outlet at the far end of the lagoon where the water exits the site. 

The contractor will also begin working on the subsurface foundation for the new Tempietto, building the below ground foundations for the stairs and walls, then the base for the new replica structure to replace it.  

Beneath the footbridge and causeway, some unexpected subsurface conditions were discovered upon excavation of the footings, finding a substantial depth of clay beneath.  Working with the design team and the contractor, a pile system will be added to support the footbridge and Tempietto.  

May 2021

The demolition of the "Temple of Love" is scheduled to begin the week of May 3, 2021. 

April  2021

Construction is well underway at the lagoon area.  The Footbridge and Causeway structures have been completely removed, and preliminary work is beginning at the footbridge to start reconstruction.  The town and their consultant team are working with the contractor on concrete colors and textures to match the original work.  

Work within the lagoon itself has also started, with the sediment from the bottom pushed up into piles along the various edges.  This work was performed to return to some of the original depth of the lagoon by excavating some of the accumulated sediment back down to the original clay liner.  This sediment will stay piled for about two months while it de-waters.  

Most weeks, the contractor is on site Monday through Thursday, for four 10 hour days and is not on site on Fridays, unless they feel they have fallen behind in schedule or missed a day during the week due to rain.  

March 25, 2021

Construction is Underway at the Larz Anderson Park Lagoon Area 

Construction has begun on the various structures around the lagoon. A temporary construction fence has been erected around the work area.  Some dewatering (temporary lowering of the water within the lagoon) is underway to assist with the re-construction of the three main structures. The footbridge has been completely removed and the causeway is currently being removed.  

The contractor will begin reconstruction of the three structures, starting with the footbridge, then causeway, then tempietto. Work will likely progress simultaneously between the three, as different trades perform their work. The work on the footbridge and causeway will be “cast in place” concrete work, meaning the contractor will build formwork on site, then place new concrete within these forms to re-construct the replacement features.  They will be replicated to match the former structures. The tempietto will be re-constructed through a combination of cast in place concrete and “pre-cast” concrete.  Pre-casting is typically performed at an off-site location, in this case at a factory that specializes in highly detailed architectural work. They will create molds based on the various components of the existing tempietto and use a 3-D electronic model to create a replica of the existing structure.   Our design team has reviewed various finishes of the existing structure, to best match them with the new pre-cast components. Once the cast in place stairs and walls are completed, the precast components will be delivered to the site and erected in place to re-build the tempietto from the ground up.           

March 2021

Construction Set to Begin at Larz Anderson Park’s Lagoon Area

The Brookline Department of Public Works wishes to inform the community that long-awaited renovations and construction in the iconic lagoon area of Larz Anderson Park will begin this month.

Work will focus on three deteriorating concrete structures:

  • The “Temple of Love,” or tempietto, at the far end of the lagoon 
  • The center bridge or causeway
  • The arched footbridge near the end of the lagoon toward Goddard Avenue

The famous architectural firm of Little and Browne designed the three structures, which were built around 1910.  

The Town has spent many years assessing the conditions of structures at the park, prioritizing work, and soliciting community feedback at public meetings. The Town’s primary objective is to retain as much of the historic character and detail of the structures as possible within modern construction methods and to ensure public safety. This project will address structures that the preservation consultant determined to be “at the end of their service life and in need of replacement.”

Larz Anderson Park is Brookline’s largest park, at more than 61 acres. The park was once the estate of Larz Anderson, a diplomat, and his wife, Isabel Anderson. Isabel Anderson bequeathed the land to the Town in 1948. The willows, lagoon, and tempietto served as the site of many theatrical performances held for charity. Many of the plays performed there were written by Ms. Anderson.

SumCO Eco-Contracting of Peabody was awarded the contract for the project and will begin work in March, including demolition and replacement of the three structures, replacement of adjacent pathways, and accessibility improvements. The lagoon area will be fenced off and closed to the public during construction. 

This project is scheduled to reach substantial completion in December 2021. For additional information contact Scott Landgren, Senior Landscape Architect with the Parks and Open Space Division, Department of Public Works, by phone at 617-264-6490, or by email at