Suffolk Downs has a storied history as a horse racing track and public venue that has seen performances by legendary thoroughbreds and even The Beatles. But in the years since racing stopped and the redevelopment of the site has been planned, it has served little use to the communities of East Boston, Revere and Greater Boston.
That all changed in July of 2021 when The HYM Investment Group officially opened The Track at Suffolk Downs, opening the historic oval racetrack to the public for recreational use and ongoing events. The mile-long dirt oval can be used for exercising, dog walking, running and other activities, and is open to the public, free of charge, from dawn until dusk until late fall.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 28th, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, The HYM Investment Group, Revere elected officials, Boston elected officials, Suffolk Downs redevelopment project teams/partners, local organizations including Orient Heights Neighborhood group, East Boston Social Centers, and other neighbors/community stakeholders celebrated The Track’s opening and previewed two public installations.
As part of the opening, The Track at Suffolk Downs features an installation titled “The Window Walk” by Artists For Humanity, a Boston-based organization that provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. The Window Walk
leverages the vast length of windows at Suffolk Downs and creates six different experiences that are in alignment with the future of the public space and that they hope will resonate with viewers.
“The Window Walk at Suffolk Downs is a perfect example of connecting a progressive, values-based company and a creative teen arts enterprise to build more inclusive spaces that express young, imaginative voices and invite all to participate in the fun,” said Richard Frank from Artists For Humanity.
The opening also unveiled a satellite location for the first sand sculpture as part of this year’s annual Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival, one of the largest sand sculpting festivals in the world, where master sand sculptors come to America’s first public beach to compete.
The Track at Suffolk Downs will be open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking is free and accessible at 525 McClellan Highway in East Boston. The Track is also accessible via the Suffolk Downs Blue Line station. The sand sculpture will be on view to the public until August 8, while the Artists For Humanity installation will be live for the foreseeable future.
HYM acquired the Suffolk Downs site in 2017 with the goal to transform the under-utilized land into a highly-resilient, transit-oriented, mixed-use development with commercial office, retail, housing, and open space. The focus throughout the process has been on community, accessibility, and connectivity.
Learn more about the plans for the redevelopment of Suffolk Downs here.