Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters

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Charles River Reservation – Upper Basin Headquarters
View of the headquarters, c. 1900
Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters is located in Greater Boston area
Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters
Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters is located in Massachusetts
Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters
Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters is located in the United States
Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters
Location1420–40 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°21′43.3″N 71°8′43.2″W / 42.362028°N 71.145333°W / 42.362028; -71.145333Coordinates: 42°21′43.3″N 71°8′43.2″W / 42.362028°N 71.145333°W / 42.362028; -71.145333
NRHP reference #10000506[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 19, 2010

The Charles River Reservation (Speedway)-Upper Basin Headquarters is located at 1420–1440 Soldiers Field Road and 525 Western Avenue in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is a complex of Shingle and Colonial Revival style buildings that were built between 1899 and 1925. They were designed by William Austin to house the headquarters of a recreational complex whose centerpiece was the Charles River Speedway, a harness racing track. The Speedway and its surrounding area were designed by landscape architect Charles Eliot shortly before his death in 1897, and its construction was overseen by the Olmsted Brothers. The Speedway operated until at least the 1950s, and was eventually absorbed by the expansion of Soldiers Field Road into a limited-access parkway. The buildings of the Speedway headquarters continued to be used by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority for administrative and logistical purposes, through at least 2001.[2]

The buildings were listed on the National Historic Place on July 19, 2010;[1] the complex was vacant at that time.[2]

In April 2013 the Boston Landmarks Commission voted to designate the Charles River Speedway Administration Building, 1440 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, as a Boston Landmark, under the provisions of Chapter 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended. The designation was subsequently approved by the Mayor and by City Council.[3]

In May 2013 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting by and through the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), announced a request for proposals from outside parties to rehabilitate, reuse, and maintain the Charles River Reservation Speedway Administration Building. The project was to be undertaken under the purview of the Historic Curatorship Program.

In August 2014, the DCR announced that a proposal submitted by the non-profit Architectural Heritage Foundation and its for-profit partner, 243 Dutton Interests LLC had been selected for a forty-year lease of the property. The chosen proposal will turn the run-down complex into space for Charles River-based nonprofits, local craftspeople, artists, and restaurants. Additionally, the proposal includes the construction of a multi-family housing unit in place of non-historic sections of the complex.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 7/19/10 Through 7/23/10". National Park Service. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for Charles River Reservation – Upper Basin Headquarters". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  3. ^