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Connecting the Past and Present

Charles River Speedway

The Charles River Speedway was once one of the most popular gathering places in the city. In an effort to bring the Speedway back to its former glory, we’ve reimagined the complex into a vibrant space for Brighton residents and businesses to enjoy. The new complex supports a diverse tenant mix including Notch Brewing, local retail shops, maker studios, shared offices, and more.

Charles River Speedway Complex
Brighton, MA
Completed: 2021 20,000 sf
Photography by © Christian Phillips, D. F. Pray General Contractors (aerials), MASS DCR (historic photos)

In 1899, the Metropolitan Park Commission constructed the Speedway to serve as a headquarters to support the new parkway along the Charles River. What was once a bustling gathering place in the community became an abandoned structure suffering from decay and fire damage in 2005.

Working alongside the Architectural Heritage Foundation, Bruner/Cott was able to breathe new life into this Boston Historic Landmark. Now, it is home to a variety of tenants and serves as a gateway to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood.

Throughout the design process, it was important for us to stay true to the building’s original architects. The arched gable entrances, porches, double hung windows and elaborate wood trim were all thoughtfully incorporated as they are characteristic to William D Austin’s architectural work for the Metropolitan Park Commission. An irregular roofline connects six shingle-style buildings, creating a single-story courtyard for residents and visitors to enjoy.

 

Awards

  • 2023 CMAA, Chapter Choice Award
  • 2022 The PLAN Award, Shortlist, Mixed-use
  • 2022 Retrofit Metamorphosis Award, Adaptive Reuse, 1st Place
  • 2022 Preservation MA, Robert H. Kuehn, Jr. Preservation Award
  • 2022 Boston Preservation Alliance, Preservation Achievement Award