On July 7, 2018, Powder Magazine celebrated both its bicentennial and restoration. Powder Magazine is the oldest structure along the Charles River Basin. Due to its original purpose of storing gunpowder, neighborhood concerns about building’s explosive contents led to its abandonment in the 1860s. In 1899 the Olmsted brothers, sons of famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, converted Powder Magazine into a bathhouse for Charles River swimmers. The building served this function until Magazine Beach closed in 1949 due to water pollution.
Johnson Roberts Associates worked with the DCR to restore Powder Magazine into a building that once again serves the community. The Powder Magazine ribbon cutting event featured music, salsa dancing, kite flying, children’s games, a tour by local researcher Nina Cohen, and birthday cake.