The wooden supports that have propped up the city for more than a century are gradually getting exposed, as groundwater levels have been dropping for years in some Boston neighborhoods. It is posing expensive problems for property owners, as the pilings quickly rot without the protecting embrace of water.
Lewis Lloyd’s multimillion-dollar Beacon Hill town house standing erect is now in danger with the dried-out wooden pilings beneath him rotting out. The water level has already reached two feet below the tops of his pilings.
To house the city’s exploding population much of the city, including the Back Bay and parts of downtown Boston is built on tidal flats that were filled in during the 19th century to create neighborhoods.