Overlook Shelter Ruins (Franklin Park)

(4 reviewss)


The Overlook Shelter Ruins in Franklin Park is an interesting abandoned location in the village of Roxbury in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Overlook Shelter was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to be the field house for Franklin Park’s athletic field. Olmsted designed Franklin Park and believed this field house was an essential building for visitors to have.  As with all Olmsted structures, it was built to complement the surrounding landscape while being practical. To accomplish this, it was a rustic structure that was low to the ground and concealed by plantings. The Overlook Shelter housed changing rooms for athletes and it offered spectators great views of the field below. 

After many years of serving as the hub for athletic events, the Overlook Shelter burned down during the 1940s. The fire completely wiped out the two-story structure. Only a few structures can be seen today including stone stairways, an archway, water fountains, benches, and a few more features. By standing at the site of the old building, visitors can still enjoy sweeping views of the fields below. Elma Lewis, a Boston activist, revitalized the ruins as a concert venue in 1966 and gave her neighborhood free musical performances. The Overlook Shelter Ruins still inspire people to this day and it is amazing to walk around and imagine what life was like when the field house was in peak condition.


  • Year Established: 1890s (estimated)
  • Year Abandoned: 1940s
  • Original Function: Field house for the Franklin Park athletic field

Overlook Shelter Ruins Location

  • Address: Pierpont Road
  • Town: Boston
  • State: Massachusetts
  • GPS: 42.308010, -71.096932
  • Parking Notes: Visitors can park at the Rear Parking Lot at the Franklin Park Zoo and then take a short walk to the ruins.
  • Parking Directions: HERE
  • Location Directions: HERE

4 reviews for Overlook Shelter Ruins (Franklin Park)

  1. Yas Miro

    Stairway to nowhere at the Overlook Shelter Ruins in Franklin Park!

    Image #1 from Yas Miro
  2. Billy Siegel

    Love exploring the Overlook Shelter Ruins!

    Image #1 from Billy Siegel
  3. Tiffany

    The Overlook Shelter Ruins! One of the highlights of Franklin Park in Roxbury

    Image #1 from Tiffany
  4. Ben

    Exploring Franklin Park and I stumbled upon the Overlook Shelter Ruins!!

    Image #1 from Ben
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