Friday, September 24, 2010

Charles River Speedway Update

From Dave Brigham:

For 20 years I lived in and around Boston, and had no idea what the long-abandoned buildings at the corner of Western Ave. and Soldiers Field Road in Brighton were. Long story short: I took some pictures, posted them on Flickr, and through a fellow user of the photo-sharing web site, learned that the buildings were once part of a horse track called the Charles River Speedway (see UPDATED: Horsing Around at the Old Barracks from Sept. 6, 2010).

In July the buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places, which unfortunately affords the complex no protection. The Boston Globe ran an article yesterday about the century-old site, detailing how Preservation Massachusetts has added the former speedway headquarters to its Most Endangered Historic Resources list. The listing is part of the group's effort to pressure the buildings' owner, the state Department of Recreation and Conservation, to preserve the site and find alternative uses for it.

The state recently committed $132,000 to shore up foundations, replace rotted sills and restore exterior walls, according to the Globe, but all involved agree much more is needed. State lawmakers recently passed legislation to renovate the buildings and move the nearby State Police barracks there, but the current economic climate means that's not going to happen any time soon.

Here's hoping the renovations get funded, one way or another, and this site sees new life.


  1. good news! The renovations have begun and it looks beautiful. I've been working in the Allston/Brighton area for about 2 years and never noticed the building. it's coming along.

  2. Andrea:

    Thanks for the update! I'll have to check it out.