Public Ownership of 60-Acre Major Park
In Brookline Necessary
So City Can Take Advantage Of Federal Funds
Members of City Council and Departments of City Planning and Parks and
Recreation officials last week outlined a sweeping proposal calling for
the creation of a 60-acre major park for the Brookline-Overbrook
At a public meeting held in the Department of City Planning offices,
Brookline residents heard City officials urge the assembly for unification
of the 16-acre Brookline Memorial Community Center property with the
turn-around of the old 39 Brookline trolley and an adjacent 38-acres which
are largely vacant and owned by the tax-delinquent bodies.
"Public ownership of the entire area is necessary so that the park can
be planned and developed as a unit and so that the City can take
advantage of Federal funds in order to accelerate the development of a
truly major community facility," said John T. Mauro, Director of
Planning and Development.
Planning officials pointed out several steps which have been taken
thus far, including:
1. The Port Authority has agreed to donate the old 39 trolley
turn-around property to the City at no cost as part of the
2. Planning officials have asked to meet with officers and members of
the Brookline Memorial Community Center Association on the possibility of
donating the property th the City for permanent recreation development
3. The overall plan has the endorsement of the Departments of Parks
and Recreation, Lands and Buildings, as well as City Council.
4. The Department of City Planning is preparing to formally request
the Federal Government for 50% development and acquisition assistance
under the Open Space program.
5. A sum of $10,000 has been allocated by the Department of Parks and
Recreation to hire landscape architects for the overall design of the
Public ownership and consolidation of these properties present a final
opportunity to preserve and develop one of the last vacant tracts of land
available in the Brookline area for permanent recreational development,
according to the planners.
Attending the meeting from the City were City Councilmen Patrick
Fagan, Walter Kamyk, and Mrs. Irma D'Ascenzo, Robert J. Templeton,
director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Anthony J.
Cortese, Department of City Planning.
Planning officials pointed out that the proposed park would serve well
over 11,000 persons, including 3,500 school aged children who live in the
Turning to a timetable of schedules, Mr. Mauro said certain phases
of the development can begin as early as next year, including the further
development of the present playing fields and the construction of a tot-lot
on the old turn-around property.
"An overall design would be planned, and we would hope that we could
work with a representative group of area citizens in carrying out the
different phases of development," said Mr. Mauro.
Included in the proposed plan are a neighborhood center, where
activities can be presented for a number of different age groups, the
development of several parklets, picnic areas, camping sites, nature
trails, a wading pool, and other facilities.
"The key element in this entire development would be a neighborhood
center, where community groups could participate in a whole series of
cultural, recreational and educational programs," said Mr. Mauro.
The City Planning Department estimates that approximately $120,000
would be needed to acquire all properties exclusive of the Community
"We would hope that the Association property would be donated to the
City free of cost, since any money the City would not have to spend for
acquisition could be used to accelerate development," said Mr.