Bruner/Cott Architects brings historic horse and bicycle racing complex to life

Bruner/Cott Architects recently completed the renovation of the Speedway in Brighton, Mass. The project is a mixed-use transformation of a 19th century trotting horse stable and Metropolitan Park police station and jail on the Charles River. Bruner/Cott worked with the Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF) to preserve and revitalize the complex to stimulate community growth and economic development.

The original 1899 development transformed an expanse of tidal mud flats into an interconnected series of public parks. Stables and park offices supported a riverside running track for bicycle and trotting races. An irregular roof line connects six shingle-style buildings, creating a one-story courtyard, highlighted by arched gable entrances, porches, double-hung windows and wood paneling.

The renovated complex now acts as a new gateway to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood, supporting a mix of tenants including small retail stores and food vendors, a publicly accessible community courtyard, flexible event space, and the biergarten and brewery. of anchor tenant Notch Brewing.

Notch Bar at the Speedway

Bruner/Cott’s design approach to preservation included the removal of fragmentary garage extensions to the historic stable facades and the reconstruction of lost features including wooden carriage access, sliding barn doors and an extensive series of carefully restored and reproduced windows. The interior plaster was so damaged by fire and rain that it was completely removed to add insulation. Stables and a concrete garage from 1940 were fitted with recessed glazed facades and overhead doors to establish links with outdoor gathering spaces.

The buildings were designed to resemble those of 1899, 1904 and 1920 while supporting modern tenants.

The Speedway courtyard

Speedway court tables

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