The Waltham Watch Factory site is located along the Charles River in a historically industrial section of the City of Waltham. The former home of the Waltham Watch Company, the factory began operations in 1854 and functioned as a premier watch manufacturer until the late 1950s.The site changed ownership in 1961 and served as a multi-tenanted light manufacturing and warehousing facility until 2004. Since then, the Property remained mostly vacant until it was acquired by Watch City Ventures, LLC in 2007.
The site is located between River and Crescent Street and the intersection with Prospect Street. Due to its industrial past, certain sections of the site are contaminated and have Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) designations. The large expanse of pavement covering the site discharged polluted stormwater runoff directly into the adjoining Charles River, and despite being directly adjacent to the Charles, the site offered no opportunities for public access along the shoreline.
Due to its location, the site offered opportunities for providing better public access along the riverfront as well as treating stormwater runoff before it discharges into the river. The developers for the site recognized the opportunity and brought CRWA into the redevelopment process early in the planning and design stage.
The project incorporates a number of stormwater management practices that allow for runoff coming from the extensive building roof areas as well as the pavement to be treated before being infiltrated into the ground or being discharged to the River. These practices have been designed and implemented with a very sophisticated landscape aesthetic and significantly add to the visual experience of the site. The project utilizes several soil and vegetation-based strategies, like rain gardens to filter runoff, as well as other practices like deep infiltration trenches and porous pavement to infiltrate water into the ground.
Boston Society of Landscape Architects - Merit Award, Historical Rehabilitation, 2014