Home / Articles / Culture / A Peek at the Past: The Skating Club of Boston
By Scott Roberto / April 1, 12:00 AM
A Peek at the Past: The Skating Club of Boston

The local host of the World Figure Skating Championships at the TD Garden March 28–April 3, The Skating Club of Boston has a long and distinguished history as an influential and pioneering mover and shaker in the dynamic world of figure skating. Officially founded in 1912, The Skating Club actually began informally a few years prior as the Back Bay Skating Club, gathering to glide outdoors on local ponds. Today it stands as the third-oldest skating organization in the U.S.
The club first moved its activities indoors in 1910 when the historic Boston Arena (now Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena) debuted. After several years of a nomadic existence, the club moved into its own facility in 1938 when its current home on Soldiers Field Road was constructed. The Skating Club raised funds for the structure partly through proceeds from its popular Ice Chips exhibition (pictured), which began in 1911 and is the oldest annual figure skating carnival in the world. The show is considered to have served as a model for such extravaganzas as the Ice Follies and Ice Capades.
Like with any organization, the members form the heart of The Skating Club, and it has certainly had its fair share of famous ones over the last century-plus. In addition to having had several administrators move on to high-ranking positions in the governing bodies of both U.S. and international figure skating, the club has also boasted many U.S. and world champions—as well as Olympic medalists—in its ranks. Perhaps the most renowned are Olympic gold medalists, world champions and World Figure Skating Hall of Famers Dick Button and Tenley Albright.
Although a member organization, The Skating Club of Boston has increased its outreach in recent years, managing public skating and holding lessons at Boston Common’s beloved Frog Pond outdoor winter rink and hosting camps at rinks in many surrounding communities through its Skating Academy. At its Brighton facility (1240 Soldiers Field Road, 617-782-5900, scboston.org), the general populace can stroll through the hallowed halls and strap on the blades for public skating on Saturdays from 12:20–1:50 p.m. and (for those 18-plus) Tuesdays from 9:40–10:30 p.m. Looking to the future, The Skating Club is currently planning to construct a new state-of-the-art home nearby, which will include an Olympic-size ice sheet that can seat 2,000 spectators, as well as two smaller rinks for figure skating training and even hockey practices and games.

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