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The Brookline Connection
A Look Back in Time at Our Community

The Brookline Cannon


Brookline Boulevard
Brookline Breeze 5K
Brookline Little League
Brookline Knights Football
Brookline Youth Soccer
Brookline Personalities
Brookline War Memorial

Facts/Photos/History
The Engine House
Trolleys in Brookline
Building Brookline
Local Churches
Local Schools
The Anderson Farm

Joseph F. Moore Park
Brookline Park History
The Recreation Center
Liberty Tunnels/Bridge
Locations (Then & Now)
The Community Picnic
Trivia: Brookline*Pittsburgh

What's New?   **   Where's Brookline?   **   Aerial Views   **   View Street Map
For best Brookline Connection Website viewing, set your text size to "Medium" ... (View/Text Size/Medium)


Additional Breeze sponsors include A-Boss Opticians, DeBor Funeral Home, Knights Of Columbus #491, Councilwoman Natalia
Rudiak, State Senator Wayne Fontana, Brookline Chamber Of Commerce, Howard Hanna - Tim Reitmeyer, Michael Poremski
Plumbing, Scoops On The Blvd, South Pgh Development Corp, Sport Clips Pittsburgh, Hideaway Mini-Mart and SPC Networks.

Random Photo Galleries:   Brookline Street Scenes (1)   **   Brookline Street Scenes (2)
West Liberty Ave (1909-13) ** West Liberty Ave (1915) ** West Liberty Ave (1915-50)
Brookline Boulevard (1909-85)   **   Saw Mill Run Boulevard (1909-64)

View our special compilations, The History of Floods, Snow and Tornados in Pittsburgh,
The Mayors of Pittsburgh, Whatever Happened To Skybus? and Brookline History 250.
Enjoy these videos: "Brookline Boulevard" and "The Brookline Breeze".

Our community spans part of both the 19th and 32nd City Wards. When in need of
a Justice, who should you turn to? Learn more about
Brookline's two Magistrates.
Enter the
City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Community Safety webpage.

Got a Complaint? Dial 311 for the Pittsburgh Response Line or submit online form.

Watch the WQED feature presentation entitled, "Have You Been to Brookline?".

Back Issues of "The Brookline"   **   Brookline-Dormont Patch Web News
Design plans for the Rt51/Rt88 interchange.

   Brookline Facebook Links   

The Brookline Connection
The Brookline Breeze
South Pittsburgh Development Corp (SPDC)

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Brookline is located in the South Hills section (4th City Council District, 19th and 32nd Ward) of the City of Pittsburgh. Today, Brookline is Pittsburgh's second largest neighborhood. Throughout its long history, the community has retained a certain character and charm that have enriched its citizens. It has built up a heritage that spans over two centuries, dating back to the days when taxes were paid to the King of England.

A panorama view of the city of Pittsburgh - 2006.
Click on image for a more detailed view.

The first settlers in the area were farmers, miners and traders that fed the needs of the French, then British, garrisons stationed in the neighboring outposts. In the early colonial days, this region was considered wild country, inhabited only by the heartiest of settlers and the soldiers that protected them. The borough of Pittsburgh was chartered in 1759. Native American resentment of the invaders from the east led to hostilities, and many of the earliest settlers were wiped out during the Indian Uprising in 1763.

After the American Revolution, the borough began to expand rapidly. Land grants were issued to veterans of the war. Those who settled here were mostly from the area near Brookline, Massachusetts. They named the area after their prior home due to the abundance of small streams, which was similar to the landscape they left behind. Known as the "Gateway to the West", Pittsburgh soon became a vital port-of-call for the multitude of adventurers seeking passage to the vast western territories of the fledgling United States of America. Industry and commerce flourished.

The terrain south of Coal Hill (Mount Washington) was prime farmland and for much of the 19th century the area was dotted with small farms that helped feed the growing population of the city. Coal mines were another familiar site, with several local mines, like the South Hills Coal Company, feeding the city's industrial base and its growing residential heating needs. Family-owned mines were popular at the time.


Images of  America - Brookline

The Brookline photo history book entitled "Images of America - Brookline" is still available for purchase at Kribel's Bakery or online at Amazon.com. The compilation, released in May 2005, is an excellent publication, packed with interesting and revealing photos, with explanations detailing much of Brookline's heritage. This book is a must for anyone interested in the history of our community.


The 20th century saw the advent of the automobile, and the addition of trolley service in 1904 led to the rapid residential development of the South Hills, including the Brookline community, then refered to as West Liberty Borough. Annexed into the city of Pittsburgh in 1908, Brookline grew quickly throughout the 1920s, as did the entire South Hills area.

Brookline Boulevard, the community's main artery and home of the commercial district, was the central hub around which the neighborhood grew. It was similar to today's suburban malls, where most of the community's needs could be satisfied. There were food stores, hardware stores, doctor's offices, soda shops, shoe stores, repair stores, dance halls, night clubs, a bowling alley and two movie theatres. For those who needed to travel, the public transportation network could get a person anywhere in the city.

The post-war years saw another spurt in the growth of Brookline. The country was growing rapidly and Pittsburgh's steel mills fed that growth. During Pittsburgh's Renaissance I in the 1950s, when the area of the Lower Hill District was demolished, many displaced city residents migrated to the area around lower Pioneer Avenue, spurring the last big population surge. Brookline's census numbers eventually peaked at nearly 30,000 residents in the early 1970s.

This is a painting done by renowned Brookline artist
Dino Guarino showing a 1960s Brookline Boulevard scene.

The mid-1970s were a time of change for the city of Pittsburgh and the community of Brookline. The decline of the steel industry and the resulting loss in jobs caused the population to decrease for the first time since the Great Depression. In addition, the rise in popularity of the suburban mall brought many adjustments to the business community. Vacant homes and empty storefronts threatened to undermine the spirit of many Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Through the efforts of many concerned Brookliners, and with the help of the city and local community groups, Brookline survived the hard times and grew stronger as a result. By the dawn of the 21st century. Brookline Boulevard had come back to life, and the bonds that tie the community together as neighbors had never been stronger.


Resurrection 100th Anniversary Book Cover

The 2009 Resurrection 100th Anniversary Book is available for purchase at the Rectory office for $5 per copy. The compilation is a revealing look into the history of the parish, from the early days of the 1900s to the dawn of the 21st century, as well as a yearbook documenting the yearlong 100th anniversary celebration. We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe! Call 412-563-4400 or visit the Rectory office for more information.


The community of Brookline marked the 100th anniversary of its annexation into the city of Pittsburgh, our neighborhood centennial, on January 4, 2008. It was a time for the older generation to look back with pride at a century filled with fond memories of family, friends and the growth of their hometown. It was also a moment for the younger generation, the future of our community, to look forward with fresh minds and new ideas to guide our neighborhood through the challenges of the next 100 years.

Brookline was, is, and always will be a special place for Brookliners everywhere. The community motto, "Character, Charm, Convenience" defines the spirit that binds us. This website is dedicated to the history of our proud community. We hope you enjoy this look back in time.

One last note about the history of Brookline, and for that matter most of the city of Pittsburgh. This area has been extensively mined, for so long that the State of Pennsylvania can't say for sure where all the mines are. The rich Pittsburgh Coal Seam ran right under the Brookline area and, if you make your home here, there is a 95% chance that your property has been undermined. For all Brookline property owners, we offer three important words, Mine Subsidence Insurance. It is offered by the State of Pennsylvania and it is affordably priced.

Brookline - A Special Place!

The Brookline Connection webpage is designed and maintained by Clint Burton.
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Last Modified: 4 July 2014