Brookline Boulevard - Spring 1926
Brookline Boulevard as it looked back in 1926, with a view towards East Brookline. This picture shows the intersection of Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro Avenue and Chelton Avenue, along with the newly constructed United Presbyterian Church. What a stark contrast to what we see today, nearly ninety years later.
For one thing, there are the trolley tracks and the noticeable lack of trees lining Chelton Avenue. Occupying Triangle Park, where the Cannon and War Memorial is today, is a small frame building used by the Freehold Real Estate Company to broker home sales in the area.
Brookline Boulevard at the intersection with Castlegate Avenue. The three buildings before the intersection are the Brookline Bakery (now Party Cake Bakery), a general store, and a drug store (now Las Palmas Grocery). Then there's the iconic Brookline firehouse, built seventeen years prior in 1909.
Looking east down Brookline Boulevard from Pioneer Avenue.
These photos were taken from of a Freehold Real Estate flyer advertising published in the spring of 1926 touting East Brookline as a great place to invest. At the time, many of the side streets had been paved and the trolley line serviced the area. Housing tracts were being built on plots that were once farmland. Below is the text of the advertisement.
A More Ideally Situated Section
The $25 million worth of improvements established where less than a quarter of a million in farm lands existed 20 years ago give the reader some idea of the Brookline which is now calling into existence this more ideally situated section. Yet no matter how marvelous is the development, breaking all records for the entire country, it can be nothing compared with the future of East Brookline, which will circle into the city from the local trolley on one side and from the interurbans on the other. This is not taking into account the paved driveways through the boulevards and through the new Liberty Tubes.
Unparalleled Millions In Building Permits
Building permits of nearly $10 million issued in the South Hills last year and extending to the very edge of East Brookline, with an equal volume granted the year before, are most inspiring in estimating the prospects of this most picturesque territory which is so close to the city, but until now untouched by human artifice. When you consider that this enormous construction was for some 60,000 residents in the Greater City, the absolutely staggering growth of this section can be imagined when the mathematical difference in favor of the South Hills would be 300% if the populations were equal, but an actual 3000% since the population of the Greater City is ten times that of the South Hills communities. When you ponder on these basic facts for the communities which extend in built-up expanse to the south and west of East Brookline you commence to see a genuine wealth-multiplying opportunity for the investor. This is particularly true of the investor who is willing to buy in East Brookline and wait as did the investors who first took title to the street improved allotments now embracing Dormont, Beechview and Mount Lebanon. The only reason the numerous increases in value do not sound like the thrills in the story of Alladin for each and every one of those investors is that each and every one had not the patience to hold on. Nearly all grabbed at the first, second, or third advance. The small number who held on, however - many of whom started with only a few dollars - are among the men of wealth and position that are today directing the destinies of the different South Hills communites.
Click on images for larger pictures.
* Photos and information provided by Marion Scanlon Block DeMase *
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