Pictures Of Lost Brookline

Forgotten Housing Developments And Other Brookline
Homes and Business Locations That Are Gone

When West Liberty Borough was formed in 1876, there was already a substantial number of homes, along with several merchant establishments, located along West Liberty Avenue from Warrington Avenue south to the borough line near upper Pioneer Avenue.

In the 1890s, when the Pittsburgh Coal Company expanded their mining operations along the Saw Mill Run corridor, the population of the borough began to increase at a rapid pace. Along Saw Mill Run, several new housing developments first appeared on the maps.

The Boggs Place (Cadet, Lineal, Leavitt), Zimmerman Park (Timberland), and Bailey and Moon (Abstract) plans sat along the western hillside, running parallel to the West Side Belt Railroad tracks above Saw Mill Run Creek.

Along the lower end of West Liberty Avenue, plot maps from 1896 also show two new residential tracts between Cape May and Pioneer. These were the C. Sauter and the Lewis/Garrigan plans. These small clusters of homes were built at the base of the hillside. At the turn of the century there were seven homes constructed in the Sauter development and five in Lewis/Garrigan.

1916 Map
A 1916 map showing the C. Sauter and the Lewis/Garrigan Housing Plans.

In 1940, the number of homes in Lewis/Garrigan had risen to six. By that time, West Liberty Avenue had evolved into more of a commercial roadway. The undeveloped plots in that plan were occupied by the Manos Baking Company, a Tile and Mantel Outlet and several smaller businesses.

As the years passed and the real estate values along West Liberty began to rise, the homes in the Sauter and Lewis/Garrigan plans were razed in favor of further commercial development. The Matthews Bronze complex now stands in place of the seven homes in the Sauter Plan. Just to the south, five individual businesses and the Dean Technical Institute occupy the former Lewis/Garrigan property.

Below are some photos of the homes in the long-forgotten C. Sauter and Lewis/Garrigan plans.

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C. Sauter Plan

Signpost that reads 'Sauter Place.'
A signpost along West Liberty Avenue that reads "Sauter Place."

Vallor and Talbert homes in March 1912.    Vallor and Talbert homes in October 1915.
The homes of J. Vallor and J.A. Talbert standing along West Liberty Avenue in March 1912 (left) and in October 1915.
When the street was widened to four lanes the front porches were removed to accomodate the expanded roadway.

Homes in Sauter Place, under the Pioneer Avenue hillside.
Three of the homes in the Sauter Plan, standing at the base of the Pioneer Avenue hillside.

Looking south towards Pioneer Avenue.    A view of the Sauter Place homes in 1924.
A view of the homes at the base of the hillside on Sauter Place in 1915 (left) and in 1924.

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J.L. Lewis, J.E & M.P. Garrigan's Plan

Homes just north of Brookside Avenue in March, 1915.
Looking south at the cluster of West Liberty Avenue homes just north of Brookside Avenue in March 1915.

Home near Brookside Avenue    Home near Brookside Avenue
The homes of P. Parker and T. Beal standing along West Liberty Avenue north of Brookside Avenue in 1912.

West Liberty Ave at Brookside - 1915
Looking north from the intersection of West Liberty Avenue and Brookside Avenue in 1915.




Other West Liberty Avenue Homes And Businesses
In Brookline That Are No Longer Standing

Along West Liberty Avenue, from Cape May south to the city line at Stapleton Street, once stood several other neighborhood residences and commercial establishments that have since been razed.

Where these vintage community structures once stood, the hillside has been cut back in favor of additional commercial development. The majority of these properties are now the site of autombile dealerships and vehicle display lots.

Below are photos of several of these long-forgotten Brookline buildings.

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Cape May Avenue To Stetson Street

American Mechanics Association building in 1912.    Homes along West Liberty Avenue.
The American Mechanic Association Hall across from Cape May Avenue (left) and a string of Brookline homes just north of
Stetson Street. The Mechanics Hall was built in the 1860s and was, until 1898, the original West Liberty School.
It was also used as a church. The building was later the workshop of H.R. Bupp Contractor and Builder.

Looking south at homes between Stetson Street and Cape May Avenue.    A view from Stetson Street to Cape May Avenue. Two views of Brookline homes between Cape May Avenue and Stetson Street in March 1915. These homes were torn
down later that year during the
reconstruction of West Liberty Avenue. Only two were replaced (shown below).

The intersection with Stetson Street.
The recently constructed homes of J. Luffy and F. Luffy, just north of Stetson Street, in June 1916.

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Stetson Street To Ray Avenue

Central Meat Market - 1912.
William G. Dooley's Central Meat Market at the corner of Stetson and West Liberty Avenue in March 1912. Next to
Dooley's is the property of T. Harley, including a wood shed, home and a laundry at the corner of Capital Avenue.

The intersection with Capital Avenue.
The laundry and residence owned by T. Harley that stood at the Capital Avenue intersection, shown in June 1916.

A Pool Hall owned by Jacob Beltzhoover.    The home of George Beltzhoover.
A Pool Hall owned by Jacob Beltzhoover near Capital Avenue (left) and the nearby home of George and Mary Beltzhoover.
During the West Liberty Borough days (1876-1907), this home was location of the Fetterman District Post Office.
Mary Beltzhoover was the official West Liberty Borough postmistress.

Homes north of Ray Avenue - 1910.
The homes of C.K. Boyd and J. Boyd, north of Ray Avenue, in 1910. The houses along the hillside are on Fair Avenue.

Downtown Pontiac, near the corner of Capital
and West Liberty Avenue in the 1950s    Downtown Pontiac, near the corner of
Capital and West Liberty Avenue in the 1950s
Downtown Motors, located between Capital Avenue and Ray Avenue, was built in the 1930s north of the two Boyd homes.
The dealership building was expanded in the 1940s to include the land owned by the South Hills Ice Company. The
Boyd homes were eventually razed to enlarge the parking and outdoor display area. The dealership closed
in the 1980s and the building was torn down. Today it is the location of a Toyota display lot.

A laundry at the intersection with Ray Avenue.
A laundry owned by E. Cox, located just north of Ray Avenue, shown here in March 1915. In the distance are the two Boyd
homes, and just beyond that, barely visible behind the trees, is the building that housed the South Hills Ice Company.

The Boron Station at Capital and West Liberty Avenue.
The Boron service station that stood at the corner of Capital and West Liberty Avenue. It was built in 1960 on
the location of the old Harley laundry building, which by then housed a pizza parlor. The Boron station
was eventually torn down and replaced by a BP gas station and convenient store.


Ray Avenue South To The City Line

J. Claude Grocery Store.    A home on the Brookline side of West Liberty between
Belle Isle Avenue and the Brookline Junction in 1912.
The left photo shows the homes of L.C. Kruckewill and S.A. Harley atop the West Liberty Avenue hillside across from
Pauline Avenue. At street level is a home and grocery store owned by J. Claude. Partially visible is another home
owned by the Harley family. To the right is the home of J. Harley. Both photos were taken in March 1912.

Homes near Belle Isle Avenue.
The homes of E.M. Lehfuss and G.S. Monks that stood just north of the Belle Isle Avenue intersection, shown in 1915.
Further north in the direction of Pauline Avenue are the Harley and Claude homes.

Homes at Belle Isle Avenue.    The Pittsburgh Coal Company power
plant at the Brookline Junction in March 1915.
The home of J.S. Armstrong on the corner of Belle Isle and West Liberty Avenue (left), and a view of the Brookline
Junction, in March 1915. At the crossroads is the Pittsburgh Coal Company power plant and air shaft.
Above the plant stands the old Knowlson Church, built in 1868, and the estate home of A. Oyer.

...
Another view of the Knowlson Church and the Oyer Estate in 1915.

A Brookline home just north ofthe city line at Dormont in 1912.    Brookline homes just north of
the city line at Dormont in 1916.
The homes of M.S. Ammann, J.B. Smith and William Underwood, just north of the city line, in 1912 (left),
and three homes owned by E.G. Burke in the Victoria Place Plan, between Stapleton and Blaine Street.

1916 Map
A 1916 plot map showing homes along West Liberty Avenue from the city line north towards the Brookline Junction.




Old Brookline Homes And The Little Red Schoolhouse

The home of William J. Harley in 1909.    William J. Harvey Express Moving and Hauling - 1915
The home of William J. Harley at 132 Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street) in 1909 and the adjacent Harley Express
Moving and Hauling business. The white addition to the business structure is all that is left standing today.

A stately home located at the intersection
of Pioneer and Brookline Boulevard in 1935.
The David Hunter estate at the intersection of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue. The Hunter family
were prominent landowners in the West Liberty days. Bodkin Street was once known as Hunter Avenue.
An apartment complex and Bellaire Avenue homes now stand on the former Hunter property.

A home at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1909.    The stone home at the corner of Berkshire and Pioneer Avenue.
A home that once stood on the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Brookline Boulevard, shown to the left in 1909. The house
was moved to the corner of Berkshire and Pioneer Avenue (right) in 1935. Also shown is the small service station
that was built in it's place. Both stood until 1999, when razed during
construction of the CVS Pharmacy.

This home once stood at the corner of
Whited Street and Saw Mill Run Boulevard,
where the trailer park stands today.
The home that stood at the bottom of Whited Street, along Saw Mill Run Creek, shown here in 1928.
The house was torn down in the 1940s. Today it is the site of the Jack Maggs Agency.

The two homes on the left are
the old Parish Rectory and Convent
at 1113 and 1115 Creedmoor Avenue.    The Greenawald residence stands next to the Resurrection
School driveway. The building served as part of
the convent from the mid-1940s until 1956.
In the photo to the left, the first two houses at 1113 and 1115 Creedmoor Avenue, shown here in 1919, were
used as the home for the Sisters of Charity until 1956, when razed for the construction of a new Convent.
The right photo shows the Greenawald home at 1136 Creedmoor Avenue, also shown in 1919. It served
as additional housing for the Sisters from the mid-1940s to 1956, then as a priests residence
until 1964. The building at 1136 Creedmoor was razed in 1965 during a school expansion.

A home on Bodkin Street at the intersection of
Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1936.
The home of O. Stanton at 409 Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street), along the intersection with Pioneer Avenue,
shown in 1936. The home was eventually razed and an apartment building constructed in its place.

Homes along Aidyl Avenue in 1935.    The Oyer home just south of the Brookline Junction. The Fleming estate, shown to the left in 1935, which stood on the land that is now the site of St. Pius X Church.
Elizabeth Fleming was the daughter of Richard Knowlson, who in the late-1800s operated a 300-acre local farm.
To the right is the Oyer estate, shown in 1915 along West Liberty Avenue near the Brookline Junction.

531 Brookline Boulevard - 1970.
This grand home stood at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Wedgemere Avenue. Over the years it was the
location of a doctor and dentist's office. Before being razed in 1970, it was the office of Dr. Kluber MD
and Dr. Hoover DDS. Today, this is the site of a Sunoco gas station and convenient store.

The Lang home on the lower end of Pioneer, near
the present-day intersection with Cadet, in 1924.    The Anderson farmhouse - 1920s
The home of William Lang on the lower end of Pioneer Avenue, shown to the left in 1924 near the present-day
intersection with Cadet Avenue, and the farmhouse of James Anderson, located along Breining Street.
The Langs were influential West Liberty landowners. Pioneer Avenue was once called Lang Avenue.
The former twenty-acre Anderson Farm is now the site of
Brookline Memorial Park. The
farmhouse served as the Activities Building until destroyed by fire in 1971.

Elizabeth Seton High School - 1970
This is Elizabeth Seton High School on Pioneer Avenue in 1970, shortly before the school was closed. The building,
called the Little Red Schoolhouse, was originally built in 1898 and expanded in 1906. Until 1939 it served
as West Liberty Elementary. Beginning in 1941, it was a Diocesan girl's high school. The building
was razed in 1971 to make room for an expansion of the
Elizabeth Seton Center.




Commercial Buildings Along Brookline Boulevard

Ed Seebacher's Sunoco station
at the Brookline Junction - 1936.
A customer pulling out of Ed Seebacher's Sunoco service station, located at the Brookline Junction, in 1936.

The Triangle Park at the intersection of Brookline
Boulevard, Chelton Queensboro Avenues in 1910.    The Triangle Park at the intersection of Brookline
Boulevard, Chelton Queensboro Avenues in 1913.
The wood frame Freehold Real Estate office on the Boulevard Triangle in 1910 (left), and a larger brick building in 1913.
The sales office stood until 1932 when Freehold closed it's Brookline branch. The Triangle is now a
memorial park.

The East Brookline Shopping Center.
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.
The shopping center was razed in 1980 during construction of the
Parkside Manor senior highrise.

A view towards Pioneer Avenue in 1936.    Shenkel's Bar and Cafe, and the Brookline
Pharmacy, near Pioneer Avenue, in 1936.
A view of final few storefronts approaching the Pioneer Avenue intersection, in 1936. Shown are Bisi's Market,
Shenkel's Bar and Brookline Pharmacy. These buildings were razed in 1999 to
build the CVS Pharmacy.

The Mobil Gas Station at Glenarm Street - 1980.
The Mobil Gas Station at the corner of Glenarm Avenue and Brookline Boulevard during the 1980 Halloween Parade.
The building was torn down in 1984 and a Stop-N-Go convenient store erected in it's place. Today it is Co-Gos.

Brookline Boulevard Shops - 1933    Brookline Boulevard Shops - 1933
Buildings along the 900 block of Brookline Boulevard, shown in 1933, that have since been torn down. To the left, the small
building with the Dry Cleaner and Market was destroyed by fire in 2004. The lot has been vacant ever since. In the
picture to the right, the four smaller structures have been replaced by the
Mazza Pavilion apartments.
The two in the center were destroyed by fire in 1973 and the other two were razed in 1980.

The Anderson Farm - 1936
The Anderson Farm, located between Breining Street and the 1400 block of Brookline Boulevard, was owned and operated
by the family from 1874 to 1947. Shown here in 1936, the twenty acre property is now
Brookline Memorial Park.




The Subdivision Of Brookdale

Brookdale was a planned subdivision in Overbrook Borough. Maps as far back as 1916 show the layout of the road network and property lots. In 1930 the land was added to the Brookline census tract. Infrastructure and home construction began in the mid-1930s. By 1939, there were six homes in the plan. Four were along Oakridge Street and two on Daleview Street.

The key to the development plan was the acquisition of the twenty-acre Anderson Farm, which stood between the established developments to the west of the farm and the new subdivision to the east. This land would have enabled connecting roadways into the plan.

Map of the Brookdale housing development - 1940.
1940 plot map showing the homes in the Brookdale subdivision.

To the dismay of the Brookdale Improvement Company, the farm was eventually sold to the community in May 1947, with the intention of creating a park. This left the Brookdale plan isolated, with only one roadway (Briggs Street) leading into the housing development. From this point on, only one new home was built in Brookdale.

In 1970, all but one of the seven homes were sold to the Housing Authority and used as rental property. The only house that remained in the hands of the original owner was at 82 Daleview Street, belonging to Sally Hadley-Aul.

A few years later, these homes were razed and only the Aul house was left standing. In 1985 it was purchased by the city and torn down. The Brookdale development is now a forty acre greenway to the east of Brookline Memorial Park.

Brookdale 1939.
An aerial view of the Brookdale subplot in 1939. Six homes are standing and many more lots were slated for development.

The Brookdale home at 82 Daleview Street.    The Brookdale home at 1644 Oakridge Street.
These are Brookdale homes at 82 Daleview Street (left) and 1644 Oakridge Street. The Daleview home stood until 1985.




The following may not be vintage homes or businesses, but they are some of the memorable
Brookline neighborhood attractions that are no longer with us.

39-Brookline Streetcars

39-Brookline approaching Breining Street.    Outbound 39-Brookline moves along the
boulevard in the direction of Flatbush Avenue.
An inbound streetcar passes Birchland Street as it approaches the Breining Street car stop (left). The trolley loop
is visible in the distance. To the right, an outbound streetcar makes its way along the 700-block of the
boulevard.
Streetcar service in Brookline lasted for sixty-one years, from 1905 through 1966.

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The Old Little League Baseball Fields

Community Center Field - 1956
The Brookline Little League began playing on the Community Center baseball field in 1952. Shown here in 1956, the field
stood on a former cornfield. Beyond the fence was the wooded valley between the Community Center and Brookline
Boulevard. The ravine behind the field was leveled with fill in 1975 during an expansion of
Brookline Park.

The Little League field in the 1960s    The Pony League field in the 1960s
Another view of the Little League field in the mid-1960s (left), with the Anderson farmhouse standing atop the hill.
Senior League baseball began in 1961 on the larger field to the right. These fields were in use until 1981,
when a new baseball/softball complex was constructed in another section of the park. The land
where the old fields stood became an outdoor basketball court and a swimming pool.

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The Community Center Swimming Pool

Brookline Park Swimming Pool - 2004
The swimming pool at Brookline Park, shown here in 2001, opened in 1982. The pool was in operation until 2003,
when decommissioned by the city. In 2013, the pool was filled in and replaced with a
DEK Hockey Rink.

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Brookline's Original Cannon

The original Cannon in 1942.
The Brookline Veteran's Memorial was dedicated in May 1935. Located on the Boulevard Triangle, one of the memorial's
iconic features has been the cannon. The first cannon installed was a 1906 47mm artillery piece. On October 13, 1942,
this cannon (shown above) was removed and melted down during a World War II scrap metal drive. It was replaced
in 1946 by the World War I Model 1917 Schneider 155mm howitzer that has stood on the triangle ever since.
In this photo members of American Legion Post#540 dedicate the cannon before sending it to the mill.

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The Timberland Avenue Bridge

Timberland Avenue Bridge - 1918    Timberland Avenue Bridge - 1918
The Timberland Avenue Bridge stood along Cadet Street and spanned the West Side Belt Railroad tracks. Shown here in
1918, the rickety wooden bridge was the only access to Saw Mill Run Road for the Brookline homes in Boggs Place.

Timberland Avenue Bridge - 1918
The Timberland Avenue Bridge was built in 1909 when upgrades to the railroad line cut off the homes in Boggs Place.
It stood until the late-1920s, when Cadet Street was extended through the Lang property to Pioneer Avenue.
At the location shown here, the tracks form the boundary between the Brookline and Bon Air communities.

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Coal Mining

Coal Mining in the early-1800s.
Coal mining was the first major enterprise in the South Hills. The Mount Washington Coal Railroad was extended into the
boundaries of present-day Brookline around 1870. Soon, mine shafts were scattered all along the West Liberty and
Saw Mill Run corridors. Scenes like this were common along the outskirts of Brookline until the early-1900s.
The extraction of coal from the
Oak Mine underneath the Brookline community continued until 1941.

The Pittsburgh Coal Company power
plant at the Brookline Junction in 1909.    1931 Coal Mine along Elwyn Street (McNeilly Road).
The Pittsburgh Coal Company installed a power plant, machine shop and air shaft (left) for the Oak Mine in 1905, located
at the Brookline Junction. The plant and shop were in operation until 1915. Afterwards, a silo-like airshaft was built
that stood until the 1940s. The Oak Mine pit mouth to the right, shown in 1931, was located along McNeilly Road.

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Home Deliveries Of Coal

A wagon loaded with home heating coal at the corner
of  Merrick Avenue and Freedom Avenue - 1924.    Home deliveries of coal were commonplace in Brookline.
A horse-drawn wagon, loaded with coal, at the intersection of Freedom and Merrick Avenue in 1924 (left); Richard Dunn
and Donald Fornear shovel coal along Woodbourne Avenue in 1943.
Coal deliveries in Brookline continued into the 1970s.
Loads were dumped along the sidewalk and hauled by bucket to a basement coal chute, usually near the front porch.

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