Overlook Shelter Ruins

Stone steps and pillar surrounded by trees and shrubs. Stones like ruins.
Emerald Necklace's Overlook Shelter Ruins

Quick Facts
Boston, MA
Olmsted Designed Landscape
Like many structures in an Olmsted designed park, what served as the field house for Franklin Park’s athletic field was meant to compliment the landscape that surrounded it. Maintaining a rustic feel, low to the ground and hidden by plantings, the structure housed changing rooms and provided a viewing area for the sporting events below.Today, the puddingstone ruins of the only building ever designed by Frederick Law Olmsted are still visible. One can make out the original stone steps, an archway, water fountains, benches, and other architectural features.Though a fire in the 1940’s wiped out most of the building, the path around the two-story structure stills offers the original “Overlook” view down onto the Playstead sports area. Despite being only ruins, in 1966 Boston activist Elma Lewis revived the ruins as a concert venue, offering free musical performances to her community.

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

Last updated: April 11, 2022