Charles River Speedway

The challenge for Charles River Speedway.

Once a center of activity, Charles River Speedway sat in vacant disrepair for decades. The speedway was originally built in 1899 by the Metropolitan Park Commission (MPC) for harness horse and bicycle racing. Despite its popularity in the early 20th Century, the rise of automobiles gradually infringed on the speedway until parts of the track were cleared to make way for Soldiers Field Road in the 1950’s. Finally in 2019, funding was granted so work could be started to restore the remaining defunct municipal offices and other buildings to be used as an extensive mixed-use space. The Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF) partnered with Bruner/Cott Architects and D.F. Pray. Once Alpine was brought on to the project by D.F. Pray, they faced the challenges of advanced building deterioration, unsafe structural damage due to a previous fire, coordinating schedules with numerous other contractors, and restoring the windows to their former beauty. The schedule was further challenged with the introduction of COVID-related restrictions and related materials shortages.

Two men inspect antique doors

Client Service Representative Todd Drew inspects one of the antique doors.

View of building exterior

How Alpine shaped the solution.

Alpine’s work at Charles River Speedway included window restoration and historically-accurate reproductions, as well as stripping of lead painted components. Alpine worked with fellow contractors to keep things moving smoothly despite the many trades required to revitalize the space. We also had to accommodate scheduling delays and material shortages due to COVID restrictions. With the help of Olde Bostonian for the restoration of windows and Boston Sash for the re-creation of replacement windows, our team was able to restore the appearance of the buildings in an historically accurate way. Additionally, Alpine dealt with the logistical complications of being located on the busy intersection of Soldiers Field Road and Western Avenue.

Charles River Speedway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Boston Historic Landmark. The complex now is home to retail shops, restaurants, shared offices, and Notch Brewing.

D.F. Pray, Seekonk MA

project type
Window Restoration/Replacement, Period Restoration and Lead Paint Abatement

Brighton, MA