Water pipe bursts, forcing downtown state office building to close

Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Sheets of ice caused by a water main break were taped off in front of the John McCormack Building in Boston on Wednesday.

By Globe Staff 

One of Massachusetts’ largest state office buildings — which houses the attorney general, the state comptroller, housing and economic development, the state elections division, and other important agencies — was shut down Wednesday afternoon after a water pipe broke, spewing huge amounts of liquid through ceiling panels onto the front entryway below and drawing a response from Boston police and firefighters.

Facility Manager Parrish Rossi wrote to state workers in the John W. McCormack building, which sits across from the Massachusetts State House, and told them to depart the office tower from a back entrance. The building, he said, is closed “effective immediately” because of a broken chilled water pipe.


“We will need all employees and public to leave the building so that we can make the necessary repairs to the system which will not be conducive to a working environment,” he said in an e-mail.

Officials said the pipe that burst was original to the building, which was completed in 1972. They believe its age plus freezing temperatures contributed to its breaking.

The building’s closure, which could hamper state operations, comes a day before a snowstorm is set to bear down on Boston.

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