Brookline Boulevard - circa 1917
Then and Now
Here is a fascinating view looking northwest towards Brookline Boulevard (circa 1917), taken from behind the home of Fred W. Doerzbacher Sr. at 1033 Bayridge Avenue. Doerzbacher was the original Brookline Plumber, and pictured are Fred's wife Emma and children Margaret, Grace and Ralph. The Doerzbacher's other two children, Fred Jr. and Emma would have been just babies at this time.
Visible in this image are Queensboro Avenue coming down from the Boulevard and Woodbourne Avenue behind the child on the right. Also visible are homes along Berkshire Avenue. Land development was just beginning to boom in this section of Brookline as new homes are starting to dot the landscape. The majority of the buildings shown here, with the notable exception of the stone home at the corner of Queensboro and Woodbourne, are still standing today.
Regarding the date of this photo. It was originally thought to be from 1906, but based on the children's ages on the 1920 census records and the fact that the buildings shown on 1916 plot maps (many were not visible on 1910 maps) are in the exact order shown here, it is more likely that this photo was taken in approximately 1917.
Fred's plumbing business was operated from a garage in the rear of the home, then moved to a building at 968 Brookline Boulevard. Around 1932 the business went into bankruptcy and was eventually moved to a new home at 627 Brookline Boulevard. Later it was relocated to it's present building at 612 Brookline Boulevard. When Fred passed in February 1944, his son Fred Jr. took over the business, which after over 110 years is still in operation today.
Here is close to the same view looking northwest towards Brookline Boulevard. You can barely see Queensboro Avenue coming down from the boulevard, as residential development and the growth of the trees has blocked the view of the roadway. If you look closely you can identify the buildings in the photo above.
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