Joseph F. Moore Park
(established 1939)

Moore Tennis Courts - November 2014.

<View Some Photos of Moore Park From The Days of Old>

Joseph F. Moore Park is a Pittsburgh city park located off of Pioneer Avenue in Brookline. Moore Park opened in 1940 and its many fine attractions include an olympic sized swimming pool, a water slide, three lighted tennis courts, and a children's playground.

The park also includes an outdoor basketball court, a whiffleball court, a regulation sized lighted baseball field and a smaller field, an outside spash pool with a water fountain and a multi-purpose recreation building. The facility is one of several community parks nestled in the hills around the City of Pittsburgh, and the oldest of two parks here in Brookline.

The fountain near the children's
playground at Moore Park - 1958    Brookline Youth Soccer Association
Opening Day Photo - Fall 1999.
Linda Dimitroff cools off in the water fountain in 1958 (left) and Brookline Youth Soccer practice in the Fall of 1999.

For many years now, Moore Park has been one of the community's landmark gathering places. In the summertime, the pool is full of swimmers and the playground buzzing with children and their parents. For years, the ball fields were used by local baseball, football and softball leagues.

Today, the fields are still used extensively by the Brookline Little League, the Brookline Youth Soccer Association and the Seton LaSalle High School baseball team. Those who were here during the 1950s will remember the festival and firework displays, held each Independence Day, on the lower field.

Wiffleball has always been a fun
 pasttime on the courts at Moore Park.
 This picture, from 1969, shows Charlie
 Marratto taking his best cut.    July 4, 1952. The Brookline Little League
played in its first ever all-star game
and beat Bethel Park, 5-4, at Moore Park.
Charlie Marratto takes a cut on the wiffle ball court in 1969 (left) and the regulation sized baseball field on the lower
level, shown in 1952, hosted Brookline Little League games and the Independence Day fireworks in years gone by.
Many other sporting and civic events have been held here over the years. The field is still heavily used today.

Moore Park has seen many upgrades over the years. The pool, which used to have three diving boards (one quite high) and descended to sixteen feet at its deepest, has been modified. It now sports a water slide instead of the diving boards, and it no longer is as deep as in the past, going to just six feet in the deep end. The building is no longer used as a bath house, but instead has been modified for use as a community meeting place.

The swimming pool at Moore Park - 1969.    The swimming pool at Moore Park - 1969.
The swimming pool at Moore Park has been the summer highlight every year since it opened on August 9, 1940. Shown
here in 1969, several generations of Brookliners spent their hot summer days at the olympic-sized pool.

During the 1990s, the playground was upgraded to include new child-safe features and additional parking was added near the lower field to accomodate the large crowds for sporting events. In 1999, City Councilman Michael Diven dedicated a new pavilion on the walkway beside the swimming pool.

The three tennis courts were rebuilt in 2012 along with the installation of new lighting on the courts and lower baseball field. Other than these changes, the park appearance has remained pretty much the same since the day it was dedicated over seventy years ago.

Moore Tennis Courts - August 2014.
The refurbished tennis courts at Moore Park, shown here in August 2014.

Up until 1970, Moore Park had its own Recreation Director. From 1957 until 1970 the director was none other than legendary Brookline boxing coach Chuck Senft. Moore Park was the original home of the Brookline Boxing Club, known locally as "Charlie's Angels.".

Over the years, the club built a reputation as one of the finest boxing programs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When the Brookline Recreation Center in Brookline Memorial Park opened in 1971, Chuck and his Angels moved into the new facility. Chuck's career as Brookline's Recreation Director spanned forty-seven years, from 1957 to 2003.

The swimming pool at Moore Park - 1998.    The baseball field at Moore Park - 1998.
The swimming pool and baseball field are two of the main highlights at Moore Park.

Moore Park was built as part of a national and city-wide effort to create public recreation facilities for the many urban neighborhoods. The park has its roots in efforts begun by the principal of the West Liberty School District, Joseph F. Moore to provide playground space for children in the Brookline neighborhood. Professor Moore was an ardent advocate that playgrounds were the best answer to the problem of juvenile delinquency.

Since 1911, when Moore spurred efforts to have the city purchase space near Brookline School for playground use, his vision began to take shape. The first playground lasted only a couple years until the land was needed for school expansion. In 1930, the Joint Civic Committee of Brookline, of which Professor Moore was a member, began work on community improvement.

The playground at Moore Park - 1998    The playground at Moore Park - 1998.
The playground at Moore Park has several attractions to keep Brookline children active and entertained.

One of the initiatives was creation of a new public park. The decade of the 1930s saw many civic improvements in the community infrastructure and the addition of a Carnegie Library. In 1931, when sections of the Paul Farm became available, the Pittsburgh City Council purchased the ten acres, which had been used as a golf driving range for several years. The land was earmarked for use as a park in the name of the Brookline Boosters Association.

Back on August 5, 1931, the Pittsburgh Press published a short clip stating that Councilman Alderdice and William J. Soost, a Council candidate, addressed members of the Brookline Boosters Association at the German Beneficial Hall on the boulevard. At the meeting, Councilman Alderdice announced that he would sponsor a resolution to name the new park after Thomas Hester, the president of the Brookline Boosters Association.

Preliminary work being done to clear
the land for Moore Park - 1934.    Preliminary work being done to clear
the land for Moore Park - 1934.
Preliminary clearing of the land designated for construction of Moore Park in July 1934.

Preliminary work was done in July of 1934 to clear the land in preparation for the building of the park. Four years later, after the city obtained the necessary funding and approvals, and in cooperation with the Federal Works Project Administration, work began on the park along Pioneer Avenue. Construction of the park ten acre facility took two years to complete.

Moore Park Construction Marker

<Photos of Moore Park Under Construction * 1939-1941>

Photo from the Pittsburgh Press - Aug 9, 1940.

Finally, on August 9, 1940, the dreams of Professor Moore became reality when Mayor Cornelius Scully dedicated the newly constructed Moore Park. Rather than "Hester Park," as envisioned a decade earlier, the new Brookline park was christened "Joseph F. Moore Park" in honor of the man who worked so hard to see that the children of Brookline had a safe place in which to play.

Brookline Flag Football - Fall 2005.
The Brookline Recreation Center hosted a Flag Football League at Moore Park during the fall of 2005 and 2006.

Photos of Moore Park Over the Years

The Paul Farm * 1910
Recollections of Joseph F. Moore
Bob O Link Golf Driving Range * 1930
Moore Park Construction * 1939-1940
Brookline Merchants * 1940
Moore Park Pool * 1946
Moore Park Swim Meet * 1953
Moore Park Fountain * 1958
The Brookline Royals * 1967-1971
Maury Wills Baseball Camp * July 17, 1968
Pushball Championship * July 26, 1968
Connie Hawkins Basketball Camp * Summer 1969
Punt, Pass and Kick * Fall 1969
Pick-Up Football Game * Fall 1969
New Pavilion * Fall 1999
Moore Park in the Fall * 2004
Brookline Flag Football * 2005-2006
Moore Pool * Summer 2008

Two kids on the merry-go-round - 1967
Youngsters on the Merry-Go-Round in 1967.

For most of us, Moore Pool was
synonymous with swimming when we
were growing up. Every generation
had its own group of pool guards.
This young lady kept the swimmers
in check during the Summer of '69    Back in the 1960s the
playground had the newest
model of the old pump swings.
Generations of life guards kept swimmers safe and the pump swings were a playground favorite. Both photos - 1969.

Brookliners past and present have many memories of Moore Park. For myself, it was swimming on summer days as a young teen and pitching a game for the 1976 Senior League All-Stars. Others speak of the Independance Day Festivals and the fireworks that used to be held on the lower field, with the fading embers descending upon a packed crowd lining the steps.

One thing, however, that only the old-timers might recall, is that Art Rooney and his Pittsburgh Steelers once used the bath house as a place for team meetings and workouts. Back in the 1940s it was a common site to see the Chief and his team milling about the building working on game plans and reviewing game films. It's just another of the fun facts that make up seventy-plus years of Moore Park history.

The swimming pool at
 Moore Park - Summer 1946
Moore Park swimming pool in the summer of 1946, complete with high and low diving boards.

If you have any old photos of Moore Park that you would like to share with us,
please notify us via our
guestbook, located on the Brookline History homepage,
or send us a message on the
Brookline Connection facebook page.

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