Brookline Elementary School
Dedication Day - 1909

Brookline Elementary School - 1909

The top photo shows Brookline Elementary School on Dedication Day on June 25, 1909. Brookline Elementary was built to ease the overcrowding at West Liberty School, which was Brookline's first public school. The photo below shows the new school building a couple months later in November 1909 after some snowy weather.

The land for the school was purchased by the 44th Ward School Board from the West Liberty Improvement Company and Isaac Knowlson in April 1908. The lot contained over an acre of land fronting 250 feet of Woodbourne Avenue, near Pioneer Avenue. The site was selected by the board after a careful canvass of the district, taking in the present and probable future needs of the ward.

Plans were put in place immediately for construction of the new building. A $15,000 red brick school house will be constructed during the summer and be ready before the next winter, thus saving scores of children a long, difficult walk to the present West Liberty school building, which is adequate in equipment, but one building cannot care for this big ward.

The structure will probably have four large rooms to start with, and so arranged that additional rooms may be built on later. Buff brick is popular in a large number of the new homes in Brookline and the school board evidently contemplates a change in the color scheme by constructing the school house of red brick.

The site selected also is large enough to provide space for generations to come. The growth of that section of the city has been rapid in the past few years and the new school will have a large attendance at the start. Brookline will have churches, schools, stores, two more now being finished, electric lights, sewers, paved streets, police and fire protection, and at the same time without destroying the advantages of suburban life.

NOTE: In the end, the plans for the new school changed considerably. The red brick, four room concept was abandoned in favor of a more modern four room concept that cost nearly twice as much, but was built to last and designed in a manner as to allow for easy expansion.

* Information copied from the Pittsburgh Daily Post - April 5, 1908 *

Brookline Elementary School - 1909

The school building has been remodeled and enlarged twice since 1909. Additions were built in 1911 and 1929. Other improvements have been made over the years. In 2009, the institution entered its 100th year with a celebration of both the history of the Brookline community and of Brookline Elementary School.

* Photos provided by the Brookline Journal and Tom Castrodale *

Brookline Elementary School - 1909

Two School Buildings Are To Be Dedicated

West Liberty District Will Have Structures That,
With Site, Cost $62,000


Picnic, Speeches, Athletic Events and
Various Other Features on Program

The progressive spirit of the South Hills district is well shown in the two fireproof and up-to-date school buildings that will be dedicated next Friday in the West Liberty sub-school district. These new buildings make available to hundreds of children new educational centers with the best facilities and under the most wholesome conditions. The expansion of Greater Pittsburgh is nowhere more strongly empahsized than in this district beyone the Mt. Washington tunnel.

In connection with the dedicatory exercises will be held the annual picnic, given for the children on the district. Two most excellent sites were selected for the buildings on hills that command splendid views of the entire country thereabout. The West Liberty district in area is the largest in Greater Pittsburgh and these new buildings make a total of four large school buildings supported for public education.

Rapid growth of those districts since the opening of the Mt. Washington tunnel necessitated the erection of two school buildings during the last year and another school building will probably have to be erected in another section before the school children will have the facilities for education that are desired. Rarely, if ever, in this city have two new school buildings been dedicated on the same day in the same district.


The architect for the buildings is Frank H. De Arment. Both buildings are alike and with the grounds they cost $62,000. The Brookline School fronts in Woodbourne Avenue near Pioneer Avenue on one of the highest and most accessible points in that suburb. The Beechwood School fronts in Rockland Avenue on a high hill and from this building one of the finest views spread out, disclosing miles of new homes, well kept, on beautiful hills and shady hollows.

Designs for the buildings adopted by the school board are worthy of the purpose and most appropriate for the high elevation of the sites purchased. The buildings are of low English Gothic type of architecture, the exteriors being finished in gray brick with terra cotta trimmings. The buildings are so constructed as to permit a future addition of four school rooms each recitation rooms and board room.

The interior of the building is constructed of brick walls, with reinforced concrete floor construction. They are plastered throughout in hard mortars and finished throughout in hard wood, with Terazzo corridor floors and iron stairways at each end of the main corridors.

Each building is provided with three approaches reached by a 14-foot corridor in basement, first and second floors. Each room will accommodate easily fifty children and is provided with wardrobes of the latest conveniences, book cases and teacher's closets. Drinking fountains are in each corridor.

The buildings are equipped with combination lighting system, and provided with a heating and ventilation system. The boys and girls' laboratories at each end of the buildings are equipped with the most modern line of fixtures.

* Article from the Pittsburgh Daily Post - June 20, 1909 *

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