Now that the owners of the old Wonderland Dog Park have obtained the demolition permit needed to take down the iconic building, work crews are expected to start the massive demolition project on Aug. 1 and finish by the beginning of October.
The removal of the track will be one of the last legacies of the late City Council member Bob Haas who, along with Ward 5 Councillor John Powers, had been pushing hard for the removal of what had become an eyesore and safety hazard in the area.
Although we certainly are pleased that Wondy is coming down, we have to admit that its demolition will bring more than a tinge of sadness and nostalgia for those of us who have lived in this area all of our lives.
Yes, the traffic jams could be maddening if you happened to be approaching the track at the wrong time. And yes, it did encourage many (who probably could not afford to do so) to gamble. And yes, perhaps a racing life was not the best of worlds for the beautiful greyhounds who sped so gracefully around the track.
But the fact is, Wonderland Dog Track was an institution in the Revere community for generations (from 1935 to the 2009). In its heyday, it was one of the premier greyhound tracks on the East Coast and brought a certain degree of glamour to Revere.
The track’s owners also gave back to Revere in countless ways over the years, providing both permanent and seasonal jobs for many of our residents (we remember working as part-time ticket-sellers during the big events such as the Wonderland Derby), and was a member in good standing of our business community.
And, truth be told, a visit to the track undeniably was fun, a nice diversion on a warm, summer night, whether you were with a date or having a night out with the guys or gals.
So yet another Revere landmark — and its memories — soon will be gone. But for those of us of a certain age, the call from the PA announcer to signal the start of every race — “There goes Swifff…ty!” — still will echo in our ears every time we pass by the site where Wonderland Dog Track once stood.