Brookline Boulevard - 1933
This series of photos show Brookline Boulevard on January 17, 1933, beginning at Pioneer Avenue and extending east to Queensboro Avenue. The image above shows the Boulevard at the Pioneer Avenue intersection. Myers Service Station stands on the corner lot, followed to the left by Brookline Pharmacy, Clover Farm Stores, Roth's Beauty Shop, Model Barber Shop, an empty lot (later the site of Nolan's Hardward) and a residential home (later razed to build the American Legion Hall, now the Brookline Teen Outreach Center).
Beginning 706 Brookline Boulevard and extending west towards Castlegate Avenue and beyond is the Brookline Bakery, Butler's Grocery Store and Mother's Dairy on the one side of the intersection, followed by Engine House #57 and several other businesses along the 600 and 500 blocks, including a service station.
Looking to the west from halfway between Stebbins and Flatbush Avenues, beginning at 804 Brookline Boulevard, is Reisacher's Market, Photo and Portrait Studio, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), Smith and Mott Real Estate and Insurance Company, a barber shop and shoe shine store, another grocery market, Charleson's Drug Store, the Ritz Apartments and Bowling Lanes, a barber shop, movie theater, open lot and several other storefronts approaching Castlegate Avenue.
Residential homes along
the high side of the boulevard extending
Looking west from Stebbins Avenue towards the Flatbush intersection shows Alm's Pharmacy, Blockingers Boy's and Men's Wear (having a clearance sale), the Brookline Savings and Trust Company, a vacant lot, S.S. Klein Mortgage Company, a shoe repair store, the former Braverman Theater, a saloon, another vacant lot and several more storefronts detailed in the photos above.
The boulevard from the intersection with Glenarm Avenue looking west towards Stebbins. There's a Kroger Grocery Store, Dutch Dry Cleaning Company, another grocery market, Brookline Pressing Company, Bilsing's Meat Market, the office of Sam Heinz, another Atlantic & Pacific Grocery Store, a barber shop. another grocery store, Brookline News, a hardward store, another barber shop and laundry shop.
Looking from the Glenarm Avenue intersection towards Queensboro Avenue on the commercial side is McClaren's Drug Store, F.J. Teppers General Store and Confectionery, another market and shoe store, an empty lot, a barber shop, the Brookline Plumber, a bakery and Scheiners Meat Market, among other stores.
To the far left, in the triangle park bordering the boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton Avenues, is the Freehold Real Estate Company's Brookline Branch office building that had recently closed in 1932 due to the housing decline brought on by the Great Depression. The property was purchased by local construction company owner J.J. McGaffin, who would soon raze that structure, then sell the land to the city with the provision that it be turned into a Veteran's Memorial Park.
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More Brookline Boulevard Images From 1933:
Buildings along the commercial side of the boulevard, a couple months later, looking from Flatbush Avenue towards Stebbins Avenue and on to Glenarm. Blockinger's Boy's and Men's Wear, who had the clearance sale in January 1933, has been replaced with a grocery store. That building now has an attached awning in front. The pile of bricks along the walkway to the right of the Brookline Savings and Trust building indicates that construction of the Ben Franklin Store has begun.
A similar 1933 view of Brookline Boulevard 1933 looking southeast from the center of the trolley tracks at Flatbush Avenue. Compared to the picture above, the contrast in the number of automobiles along the street is striking.
Another 1933 view looking from the tracks at the Flatbush Avenue intersection towards Stebbins and beyond. An outbound trolley car has passed Glenarm and is approaching a passenger waiting at the Stebbins Avenue Car Stop. To the right of the Brookline Savings and Trust building now stands the newly constructed Ben Franklin Store. In 1952 the two buildings were merged during an enlargement of the bank building.
Looking northwest straight into the heart of Brookline from Chelton Avenue in August 1933. There is plenty of activity on this busy summer day. The old Freehold Real Estate building can be seen to the right in the triangle park. The following year it was torn down in favor of establishing the veteran's memorial.
Dick McRoberts' Amoco service station opened in November 1933 at Brookline Boulevard and Glenarm Avenue. The station had such modern conveniences as self-computing pumps and was constructed of a new-type concrete block. For the next half century, until 1984, there was a gas station at this, although in later years it was affiliated with Mobil Oil Company.
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These images were taken at the beginning of the Great Depression, a time of extreme hardship brought on by the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the effects of a global economic downturn. Despite these difficulties the City of Pittsburgh and community of Brookline worked through the hard times and persevered. Although times were tough throughout the city, the benefits of the many industries in the Pittsburgh area helped to spare the city from the worst effects of the depression era.
Here in Brookline, residents kept their chins up and waited patiently for the New Deal promises of recently elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to help bring the country out of the economic decline and into a new age of prosperity.
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