Larz Anderson Lagoon Structures Project


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

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.  During the week of March 29, 2021, the tempietto will also be 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 slandgren@brooklinema.gov.