Speedway Progress Update – March 2020

Since construction began at the Speedway five months ago, the renovations have progressed by leaps and bounds. Thanks to our partners at Bruner/Cott and D.F. Pray, the historic site is getting a makeover from top to bottom that is transforming what was once a collection of dilapidated buildings into a vibrant public space. Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

1. New shingles

The Speedway’s deteriorated, brown-painted shingles have been entirely stripped away and are being replaced with new ones made of Eastern white cedar. Lighter in color, these shingles more closely resemble the originals, which were also unpainted. A weather stain is being applied to the new shingles, which will darken slightly over time as they are exposed to the elements. Shingling is complete along the Western Avenue-facing portion of the Speedway.

The Superintendent's residence at the Speedway, an historic preservation project by the Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF). The bottom third of the house is shingled, whereas the wood and insulation of the top two thirds are exposed. Banners with the names and logos of Bruner/Cott Architects, D.F. Pray General Contractors, and WaypointKLA Project Management Services hang from the upper part of the house.
Building F half-shingled. Photo courtesy of Jason Baker.

2. Stripped-down interior

The Speedway interiors have been prepped for renovations. Abatement has been carried out and the accumulated junk of decades – including a motorboat filled with moldy stuffed animals – were removed. What with daylight peaking through gaps in the framing and illuminating exposed beams, the buildings’ skeleton is a striking sight.

Speedway interior. Photo courtesy of Jason Baker.

3. A new floor

Building B, also known as the 1940s garage, has a new concrete floor! It’s level, smooth, and shiny – perfect for an event space or other creative use. We’re aiming to pour floors in Buildings E, C, and D within the next two weeks.

Back in September, we discovered dozens of rollerblades being stored in Building B. We tried out a few on what was then a cracked, uneven surface. Wish the new floor had been in place for our “rollerblade party!”

The new floor in Building B.

4. Repairing windows and doors

Last week AHF, DCR, and one of our subcontractors, Alpine Environmental, paid a visit to Olde Bostonian, a window and door restoration service subcontracting under Alpine. Old Bostonian is handling the restoration of all the Speedway’s original windows and doors, painstakingly repairing each sash. This is no small feat: the Speedway has 169 windows comprising 53 types!

Speedway windows in the hospital.

We’re thrilled at the progress we’ve made so far on the construction phase of the Speedway project. Check back in April for our next update, and make sure to visit the Speedway website, as well as to follow the project on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Let’s work together.