Speedway comments

To: dcr.updates@state.ma.us

I am writing to follow-up comments that I and other neighbors made at the February 27 public meeting regarding the future of the Speedway building.

To fully realize the potential of a rehabilitated Speedway and help create a financially and operationally feasible project, it is essential to consider the future of the abutting properties.

Adjacent to the the Speedway buildings are blighted and underutilized properties owned by the State and Harvard University. Harvard's property (the former Toureen Kennels / Brighton Animal Hospital) has been vacant for several years and I expect that demolition is the only viable option. If Harvard refuses to engage in constructive discussions, eminent domain should be considered.

To this end, I hope that DCR will reach out to Harvard, the Smith Health Center (who is leasing some or all of the State's adjacent property), and any other related parties to identify strategies for collaboration that can maximize the potential of this set of parcels.

If nothing else, this holistic approach might find opportunities to create shared parking facilities among various future users. This could address the limited space for parking at the Speedway which was noted as an obstacle during DCR's public design charrette.


  1. I had read somewhere that this spot couldn't be more perfect for a beer garden with a full service restuarant, and possibly a b&b. I couldn't agree more. IMO cutting up this building for offices (is office space demand that great in north brighton?) would be insensitive to its historic context as an outdoor recreational venue. Also using the courtyard for parking would be a crime. The on-ramp for Soilders Field Road is plenty wide enough for on street parking, and it would also serve as a traffic calming measure to allow for better access to the river, which is impeded only by the imagination.

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  3. Dave, I totally agree. I have long thought about this building's potential. The jail cells inside are particularly interesting.

    It is such an unusual building/setup and amazing that it remains encapsulated as such as it is now.
    Indeed it is part of our historical neighborhood and should, with decency, be preserved. For years, I used to wait for the bus everyday across the street from it and always admired the strange building.

    My initial thought was that it should be a B&B. That would be really cool.
    Or, hehe, a childcare center with jail cells ;D haha!

    It should be a B & B with great connection to the local history. The courtyard could be made a lot more beautiful and with less pavement.

    Who's going to buy it and foot the bill?

    I must add, I love the woodlands along the river, across the streets from there.

    (The derelict State Police Station next door is an eyesore.)