Wenzell Avenue - 1913
Click on images for larger pictures
A trip along Brookline Boulevard to West Liberty Avenue will bring a traveler to a busy four-way intersection. Turning left on West Liberty will lead to Dormont. A right turn will head towards Saw Mill Run Boulevard and the Liberty Tunnels. Head straight across West Liberty Avenue and you will be on Wenzell Avenue. Wenzell leads to Beechview and Banksville. If you live in Brookline, most likely you have traveled up and down Wenzell Avenue many times.
Today, just a slight push on the accelerator will propel your automobile over a smooth asphalt surface from West Liberty Avenue up the hill to Broadway Avenue. Back in 1913, it was a slightly different adventure. The roadway was unpaved and the prefered method of travel was either by foot, up a wooden walkway, or by horse-drawn wagon over a roadway full of ruts. These photos from April 1913 show Wenzell Avenue from West Liberty Avenue to Broadway.
Around the first bend and up the hill. Wenzell was dotted with residential homes on both the left and right. The photo on the right shows the recently paved Brookline Boulevard heading up the hill in the distance. St. Mark's Church, built in 1907, stands on the left of Brookline Boulevard. That lower section of the Boulevard is now called Bodkin Avenue.
The view looking up and down from near the halfway point of the hill. The two photos above and the two below highlight the residential homes, the wagon rutted roadway and the wood planking used as a sidewalk. This is a time when cobblestone and brick streets, sidewalks and utilities were only beginning to be laid out. Most roads were as pictured here. The majority of people travel was accomplished using the trolley service. Both Brookline and Beechview had rail lines running regularly.
The final photos below are near the top of the hill, close to Broadway Avenue, looking south in the direction of Brookline. The photo on the lower left, when enlarged, clearly shows Brookline Elementary School built on top of the hill in the distance only four years prior in 1909.
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