In the fall of 2021 I was asked by my colleagues at MacRostie Historic Advisors to support their documentation of the Scarborough Downs racing facility by completing the large-format HABS/HAER photography. This was a fantastic and enjoyable project, a combination of landscape and architectural photography near Portland, Maine, and working with colleagues whom I admire.
The track and grandstand were built in 1950 with the first race on 1 July. When built, the facility featured a one-mile oval track for thoroughbred horse races; later in 1950, the owners added lights to make Scarborough Downs the first thoroughbred track in the nation to offer night-time racing. The half-mile inner track was added in the 1960s when the track’s owners added harness racing events, and thoroughbred racing ended in 1972. The track passed though several owners during its history, and finally closed following a final race in late November, 2020. The track and grandstand will be demolished to make way for a large mixed-use development. Given the facility’s historical and architectural significance, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission called for its documentation to HABS/HAER standards as part of the Maine Historic Engineering Record.