Return of chariot races to former Brighton track ruled out

Chariot at Charles River Speedway

The Boston Business Journal reports the state Department of Conservation will hand the old Charles River Speedway property along Soldiers Field Road to a development group that will turn the old horse-track administration building/MDC/State Police barracks into an arts center with space for restaurants and which will build an apartment building atop the less historically important parts of the parcel.

The speedway, built in 1899, originally stretched to Harvard Stadium and, in addition to horse racing, had a bicycle-racing track.

The old police barracks (photo by Chris Rich):

Old MDC builidng in Brighton

Leslie Jones took the chariot photo of a chariot at the speedway sometime between 1917 and 1934. Photo, from the BPL Leslie Jones collection, posted under this Creative Commons license. MDC building photo copyright by Chris Rich.



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    Oh yay.

    More public amenities that are part of community fabric left to rot in the Mittins era so rich assholes can get more tax breaks.

    Good to see someone wants to use the old facility.

    How was the theatre troupe

    By on

    How was the theatre troupe losing its creative director and moving to the South End Mittens fault? Deval has had years to invest in DCR and unfortunately chosen not to.

    If I had to guess would have been the how general Baining of the Commonwealth made an enfeebled system for open space amenities.

    Patrick has had a long triage haul, it probably had to do with being elected at the edge of the worst financial crisis since the great depression.

    So our public inventory of things that made the Commonwealth noteworthy for most of the 60 years I've been alive through good and bad times was essentially short shrifted during the rise of mid 90s tax dodging and the trend continues to now.

    A public open space system usually gets run down by protracted economic weakness. Much of this mess has developed over unusually prosperous times as ever more wealth hogging became the rage.

    Hate to break it to you but

    By on

    Hate to break it to you but the MDC hard on for turning parkways into highways was thrifting massive amounts of funds from public spaces since the 1940s.

    Trying to blame everything on barely existent Republican strawmen is naive when the state has been a horrible steward of the public realm for the better part of a century.

    I live a few blocks from the

    By on

    I live a few blocks from the Publick Theater/Christian Herter center and ride my bike through there often. It's such shame to see the building, theater and property just sitting there going unused. Ive done some research on the venue and found some planning documents from 2004 (if I recall the date correctly) but nothing seems to have happened since. It's really could be a nice resource for Lower Allston and Boston.

    Hell Ya

    By on

    That would be the perfect use for the spot. AND considering Boston so wants to host an olympics it's going to need one anyhow. Plus I am sure local colleges would contribute to the cost and upkeep if allowed to use it, not unlike their boathouses.


    By on

    While chariot racing would have been cool...I am so excited about this project! I walk by this beautiful old building everyday and have always had dreams of obtaining a grant to turn it into a community art center. It's a perfect space for it - whether it will be a space for the community or not, I guess remains to be seen? While I would love to see the building just renovated and kept as an art and music space - without the added on apartments and restaurants, that's asking for a lot, and I'm just really psyched that it's not getting leveled for a burger king. Finally a construction project in Boston to be happy about!

    Good to hear

    I drive by it every day and wonder if they are ever going to do anything with it or just let it rot. They rehabbed the stables and they look great. Now if someone would buy the old deWalt service store and the Autobahn used car lot across the street and turn that into something nice, well, that would be something nice..


    By on

    -this will lead to a rehab of that intersection as well. Crossing at that corner of Market/Western is always sketchy.