The lower end of Brookline Boulevard
in 1936, after the rerouting of the Boulevard onto the streetcar right-of-way.
The car is at the intersection with Bodkin Street, which up to that time
was designated as Brookline Boulevard.
A great place to view vintage photos of
Pittsburgh and it's many communities is through the University of Pittsburgh
online digital archive. There are over 300 photos of Brookline, and most of them
have been used on this website. There is also a zoom feature, which allows a
more detailed glimpse of different locations in each photo. Shown here are
the zoom-ins of images already posted on the Brookline Connection. One master
photo can be made into multiple separate images. Shown here are the pictures
within the pictures.
Brookline Boulevard was officially christened in 1905, when residential development in
this part of West Liberty Borough began to take off. Prior to that it was
considered Hunter Avenue from West Liberty Avenue to Pioneer. It was known as
Knowlson Avenue from Pioneer through to Whited Street. Over the years Brookline
Boulevard became the Commercial District and center of activity around with
the Brookline community grew.
Click on images
for larger pictures
A map showing the route of Brookline Boulevard
(then known as Knowlson Avenue), from Pioneer (Lang) Avenue through to
the West Liberty Borough boundary with Fairhaven at Whited (Oak) Street. Edgebrook
is designated Hughey Road.
A map showing the Brookline Junction in 1905 (left)
and again in 1910. Note how the street names are different in 1905,
when this was part of West Liberty Borough. Brookline was annexed into
the city of Pittsburgh on January 3, 1908.
Also, when the 1905 map was published, there was no trolley service. That
was first established later that
year as a single-line route that went from West Liberty Avenue all the way through
to Saw Mill Run.
A young boys stands next to a wagon (left), and
two men by the signpost, at the Brookline Junction in 1909.
A home at the corner of Brookline Boulevard
(Bodkin Street), and a view from the lower end of the boulevard, in 1909.
The home on the left was moved to Berkshire Avenue before the Brookline
Boulevard reconstruction in 1935.
Then, in 1999, the home was razed during the construction of the
present-day CVS Pharmacy.
A horse pulling a wagonload of bricks (left) up
Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street), and workers taking a break, in 1909.
Two views of homes on the lower end of Brookline
Boulevard, looking from Pioneer Avenue (left) and West Liberty
Avenue (right), in 1909. The photo on the left also shows some buildings along
West Liberty. Visible is the rear
of the Oyer estate and the former Knowlson Methodist Church, which was the
first church built in Brookline.
A view taken from Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin
Street) and Pioneer Avenue showing the Pittsburgh Railways streetcar
right-of-way (near the bottom) that would one day become part of the Boulevard
Loop, in 1909. At that time
the Brookline route was a single-track line. Also visible are new homes along
Espy Avenue in Dormont.
The fields between the streetcar line and West Liberty were part of the Oyer
The Triangle Park (left) at the intersection of
Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton Avenues in 1910. There is a
Freehold Real Estate Office and a small garden where the cannon and war
memorial are today. There is an empty lot
where the United Presbyterian Church stands today. It was purchased in 1911. Also visible
Church/School under construction along Creedmoor Avenue; A view of the intersection of
and Chelton Avenues (right), with homes along Berkshire and Woodbourne Avenues
A view of the lower end of Brookline Boulevard,
now Bodkin Street, taken in 1913 from Wenzell Avenue in Beechview,
and Wm. J. Harley's Express Moving and General Hauling (right), located near the Brookline
Junction, in 1915.
The 39-Brookline streetcar tracks pass in front of the building. The white brick
structure still stands today.
Brookline Boulevard in 1924, looking along the
streetcar rails in the direction of Creedmoor Avenue.
A view of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards
Stebbins Avenue (left), and a new home along the residential side in 1916.
Visible in the left photo is the United Presbyterian Church's
original Stone Chapel at Queensboro and Chelton Avenues.
A new home (left), and a Freehold Real Estate
billboard stating "This is Brookline" and advertising new home sales, near
Flatbush Avenue in 1916; A view of businesses, including Brookline News, on
the 900 block of Brookline Boulevard in 1933.
A map showing the buildings along Brookline
Boulevard, from Pioneer Avenue to Queensboro Avenue, in 1926.
At this time there were still plenty of undeveloped lots along the boulevard
and side streets.
A 1926 look at the lower end of Brookline
Boulevard, taken from Whited Street, looking east towards Breining Street,
with a view of Bellaire Place in the foreground. Homes along
Oakridge Street can be seen in the distance.
Businesses along Brookline Boulevard and Chelton
Avenue (left) and the Freehold Office on the Boulevard Triangle in 1933.
The Brookline Pressing Company (now A-Boss
Opticians), Bilsing's Meat Market and an A&P on Brookline Boulevard in 1933.
A Kroger grocery store, the Dutch Dry Cleaning
Store and another small market along Brookline Boulevard in 1933.
A look at the counter inside the Kroger Grocery
Store in 1925.
The Fleming Car Stop (left), and the intersection
of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue, in 1935. The large home on
the right belonged to David Hunter, whose family were large landowners from
the early days of West Liberty Borough.
What is now considered Bodkin Street was once called Hunter Avenue. An apartment
complex stands on this spot today.
Pedestrians (left), and a gas station (right),
at the intersection of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue, in 1935.
The intersection with Pioneer Avenue (left), and
the new retaining wall along the Boulevard Loop, in 1935. The wall
on the right stands today and is covered with the Brookline Mural, painted
in 1996 by Jennifer Rempel.
A woman stands with her grocery bag on the ground at
the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1935.
Workers installing streetcar tracks on the
Boulevard Loop (left), and curious kids coming to watch the work, in 1935.
A car parked along the railing (left), and
construction work on the boulevard loop, both near Kenilworth Avenue, in 1935.
Homes along the Brookline Boulevard loop, at the
Kenilworth Avenue intersection, in 1935.
A map showing the Brookline Junction in 1926 (left)
and again in 1940. This shows the route of the Boulevard both
before and after the 1935 reconstruction and rerouting of the roadway onto
the streetcar right-of-way.
Surveyors inspecting construction work along the
Boulevard Look in 1935.
An inbound streetcar approaches the Fleming Car
Stop, near Kenilworth Avenue, in 1935 left), and the Sun Oil Company
sign and decorative lighting fixtures, along with the Brookline Boulevard
signpost, at the Brookline Junction, in 1936.
The 1400 block of Brookline Boulevard stands
in the distance, beyond the fields of the Anderson Farm, in 1936.
This farmland is now the site of Brookline Memorial Park and the Brookline
Community Center ballfields.
The front of the A&P market (left), and the
intersection with Castlegate Avenue, in 1936. The pedestrian traffic,
and the gentlemen engaging in a conversation by the Brookline firehouse, looks like
it could be happening today.
Two views looking towards the Castlegate
Avenue intersection, and boulevard homes to the right, in 1936.
Meyers Amoco service station (left), and Shenkel's
Bar and the Brookline Pharmacy (right), near Pioneer Avenue in 1936.
A sleeping dog (left), and the display and
window ads in front of the A&P market, in 1936.
A beer delivery along the 500 block of Brookline
Boulevard in 1936.
A view towards the Brookline Junction (left), and
a vehicle parked across from Wedgemere Avenue, in 1936.
The tire shop in the photo to the left is located where the McDonald's restaurant
Ed Seebacher's service station (left), and a
customer pulling onto West Liberty, at the Brookline Junction, in 1936.
A view up Brookline Boulevard from the junction
(left), and gas pumps at Seebacher's service station, in 1936.
A view across the Brookline Junction (left), and cars
parked near Pioneer Avenue, in 1936.
A view of storefronts along the 500 block of
Brookline Boulevard, looking towards Pioneer Avenue, in 1936.
The Bodkin Street home at the intersection of
Pioneer Avenue (left), and a view of pedestrian traffic and
storefronts along the 500 block of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards Castlegate
Avenue, in 1936.
The metal railing at the boulevard and Pioneer
Avenue (left), and the sidewalk approaching Pioneer (right), in 1936.
A view of storefronts looking towards Pioneer
Avenue (left), and a woman with a baby carriage out for a stroll, in 1936.
The lower end of Brookline Boulevard, from Birchland
Street and down, in 1953 (left) and a passenger stands at the
trolley stop waiting at the intersection of Whited Street, Bellaire Place and
Brookline Boulevard in 1963.
The interior of Blue Bonnet Bakery during the
Grand Opening in 1946. The bakery was remodeled in 1951
and remained a popular Brookline bakery until closing in the early-1990s.
The Texaco gas station at the corner of Brookline
Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1965.
A view of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards
the intersection with Edgebrook Avenue, in 1966.
Gas at the corner Gulf station is selling for thirty cents per gallon.
A view of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards
the intersection with Castlegate Avenue, in 1967. As with
the previous 1936 photo, it looks as though this classic boulevard scene could
be happening today.
Brookline Boulevard has a timeless quality that makes it
easily recognizable whatever the year.
In 1975, Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors of
Ice Cream were available at 719 Brookline Boulevard.
Next door was Worlds Apart, a clothing store. In 2018, the businesses
are Scoops on the Boulevard and a Tobacco Store.
Party Cake Bakery, at 706 Brookline Boulevard,
has been in business for over fifty years, since 1961.
Demma's Market, at 934 Brookline Boulevard, operated for forty years, from
1946 to 1985.
The East Brookline Shopping Center at
Breining Street was a popular destination for those living in the 32nd Ward.
Shown here in the mid-1970s, there was the Coin-Op Laundry, Open Pantry Market
and Manco's Pharmacy.
Across Breining Street, along the Boulevard, was Jay's Hardware and Mary and
If you look closely you will see the rainbow that followed a brief
The Foodland grocery store (left) and Kribel's
Bakery, both located on the 500/600 block of Brookline Boulevard, in 1967.
Foodland is where Pitaland is presently located. Kribel's Bakery was
in business for over 65 years, closing in 2015.
The interior of Kribel's Bakery, well-known
around Pittsburgh for it's fine cakes and other treats for over six decades.
The Brookline Beer Mart, owned by Lou Pilotto
and Don Wiedor, located at 1019 Brookline Boulevard, shown here in 1985.
This was once the site of Ed Coennan's Beer Distributor. Lou and Don bought
the building in the early-1960s and ran
the business until the late-1990s. Today it is still a drive-thru been distributor,
the only one left on Brookline.
La Pizzeria Roma at 948 Brookline Boulevard, in 1984.
The building burned on February 2, 1985 and was later torn down.
Nino's Barber Shop (left), located across from the
cannon, and Garrubba Brothers Meat Market, on the 500 block.
Both of these businesses were long-time boulevard establishments that closed
in the late-1990s.
Chahine Bakery began in 1969 at 704 Brookline
Boulevard. Shown here in 1984, the business moved
in 1990 to 620 Brookline Boulevard, the old Foodland building,
and was renamed Pitaland.
The Italian Accent Market, shown here in 1987, was
in business for three years at 1160 Brookline Boulevard.
It closed in 1990. This was formerly the location of Grumet's Market, built in 1950.
A view along Brookline Boulevard commercial district,
looking from near Glenarm Avenue in 1985.
The 21st Century
Big Mouth's Pizza, shown here in 2000, stood
at 919 Brookline Boulevard for about ten years. It closed in the mid-2000s.
First owned by Greg Barr, the restaurant featured a menu with BIG items and
was quite a success for a while.
During remodeling, old storefront facades sometimes
reappear almost as they were year's ago, giving Brookliners
a brief glimpse into the past. In 2005 it was The Better Half, and in 2017 it was the
Boulevard Men's Shop
The Brookline Libraty building in 2002, before
an extensive remodeling. The building was formerly the long-standing
home of the Premier Photo Company, which closed in the late-1980s.
On the left, Wanna Be Tan, shown in 2000,
was open for eighteen years before burning down, along with
Wanna T-Shirt, in 2008. Crandall's Cleaners, another long-time business, is now
To the right is Gordon's Restaurant and Lounge, shown in 2016. The popular business
operation from 1988 through 2016. It then became known as
Brook-Line and Sinker.
Odds And Ends
A set of Brookline Boulevard commemorative
glasses (left) and coasters (right) sold in 1982. They show old
Mellon Bank at the corner of Stebbins Avenue, the Cannon, the firehouse and the
Souvenir sterling silver spoons that were
offered by the Freehold Real Estate Company to new homebuyers back
in 1907, during Brookline's initial building boom. The ornate spoon features
"Brookline" and an image of a streetcar on Brookline Boulevard.
Passing Pioneer Avenue and starting down the Belgian
Block loop towards West Liberty Avenue in 1965.