Dedication of the Recreation Center Building
July 25, 1969

The groundbreaking for the Brookline
 Recreation Center - July 25, 1969

Ground was broken for the new Brookline Park Recreation Center on July 25, 1969. This was the culmination of efforts begun back in 1945 when the Community Center Association began their quest for a community park and recreation center.

The land was purchased in 1947 and, in 1966, sold to the city for one dollar with the agreement that it would be developed into a first-class city park. The new Recreation Center building was the first step towards fulfilling that promise.

Parade - July 25, 1969    Parade - July 25, 1969

This summer day was a very special occasion in the Brookline community, and a gala event was planned. A parade down Brookline Boulevard was followed by a special dedication ceremony at the Community Center. Special guests included Mayor Joseph M. Barr, District 4 Councilman Richard S. Caliguiri, future mayor Pete Flaherty, and longtime Brookline Recreation Director Chuck Senft.

Mayor Joseph Barr addresses crowd - July 25, 1969    Councilman Cailguiri addresses crowd - July 25, 1969

Over the next thirteen years, the city made good on their promise to develop Brookline Park. The ravine between the Recreation Center building as filled in 1975. The lower part of the park, including an expanded playground, parking lot and ball field, was completed in 1977.

Then, in 1981, work began on a major park expansion, including basketball courts, tennis courts, Little League ball fields and a swimming pool. By the summer of 1982, the transformation of Brookline Park was completed. It turned out to be one of the wisest $1 investments ever!

Brookline Journal
 front page

It is quite a thrill to so many people that a new Recreation Building is going to be built in the new Brookline Park that was formerly the Brookline Community Center. The cost of the structure will be approximately $430,000.

As was stated early in the spring of this year the building will be the first in a series of buildings and improvements at Brookline Park. It will be a 10,500 square foot building containing an indoor gymnasium which can be converted into a all purpose room, two small activities rooms for arts and crafts, a kitchen, showers, lockers and other public facilities.

Being specific about the new Recreation Building it will include the following:

- a 50 X 77 foot gymnasium including basketball court, two practice courts, folding stage and a folding partition to divide the area and enable it to accommodate community meetings, dinners, classes, lectures and other events.

- there will be a handsome entrance area.

- Two activity rooms each 22 X 20 square feet to be used as classrooms, meeting rooms, and gamerooms.

- an office in which to operate and control the building.

- boys and girls lavatories each 8 X 18 feet.

- men's and women's lockers, showers, and lavatories.

- a caretaker's apartment, mechanical equipment room, a shop, warming hut, and a pantry for snacks.

By 1970 the Edgebrook Ave. to Breining St. section of Brookline Blvd. will be improved as to make a suitable and handsome approach to the new Brookline Park.

The J.J. McGaffin Construction Co. is the general contractor and the Alfred D. Reid Associates the architects.

The program for Friday evening, July 25, will be a Family Picnic at 5pm, and then a Little League ball game at 6pm. A parade, forming at Pioneer Ave. and marching to the new Brookline Park, gets underway at 7pm and groundbreaking ceremonies begin at 7:30pm. Dancing will follow at 8:30pm. Mrs. Dale Melman and Mrs. Julie O'Rourke are co-chairman of the parade. Mrs. Ruth O'Hanlon is general chairman of all festivities.

A large turnout is expected and invitations to be present have been sent to Mayor Joseph Barr, City Councilmen, the heads of the several city departments who have been responsible for the development of the new park, local law enforcement personnel, local clergy and civic leaders, the contractors and architects, and the local state senator and legislator.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - July 24, 1969 *

The Brookline Memorial Recreation Center, in the summer of 1998,
twenty-seven years after construction.

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