New Playground - Creedmoor Avenue - 1933
Resurrection School opened in 1912 along Creedmoor Avenue. As the years went by and the parish population grew, the school was gradually enlarged. By 1930 there were over 1000 students enrolled at Resurrection Elementary. During morning and afternoon recess, these students needed a place to play. Although the parish owned some of the adjoining lots, these small tracts of land were insufficient to handle such a large number of children.
Inevitably, the kids began to mill about along Creedmoor Avenue and play in the street. There were so many kids playing on the street that the issue of safety became a prime concern to school officials and the community at large. In 1933, a decision was made to block off a small section of Creedmoor Avenue, halting vehicular traffic, during the short recess periods.
Despite the objections of one homeowner, this practice was made official city policy here in Brookline on October 22, 1933, when it was announced publicly. Below is the Pittsburgh Press article that appeared on that day declaring once and for all that the students of Resurrection Elementary were to be granted a safe place to play along Creedmoor.
For the next six decades, Creedmoor Avenue, from Oakridge Street to Brookline Boulevard, became the belgian block playground that generations of Brookline youngsters utilized during lunch break. This practice continued until Resurrection Elementary School closed its doors in the spring of 1996.
Police Halt Traffic To Let School
Eight Hundred Brookline school children are excercising the inalienable right of childhood to play, even if it's necessary to appropriate a street for a playground a few minutes each day.
What's more, they do it with the full authority of the police and approval of most neighbors, despite the fact that one nearby residence has tacked on its front porch a sign which reads:
"This street has been converted into a playground without compensation to the property owner and in violation of the law."
The property owner, Mrs. J. L. Quinn, 1130 Creedmoor Avenue, has waged a lone battle for months to keep the children out of the street, but everybody else seems to think the arrangement is proper, in view of the fact that children just will play and it doesn't matter a great deal to them where.
Police Block Off Street
So every school day from 10 to 10:30am and from 2 to 2:30pm police block off two blocks on Creedmoor Avenue when the children from Resurrection School are at recess.
Mrs. Quinn, who owns her home, holds it is unfair for autos to be stopped from Brookline Boulevard to Oakridge Avenue during the recess periods.
She also owns another piece of property nearby, and claims she has lost several tenants because the street is blocked.
Mrs. Quinn has written dozens of letters to Police Superintendent Franklin McQuade, Public Safety Director Harmar D. Denny, Public Works Director Edward G. Lang and other officials and civic groups.
Police Answer Complaints
The only answer she got was from Director Lang, who informed her that the matter had been investigated and her complaint was unjustified.
The police side of the story is this:
Captain Charles T. Cahill, in command of the district, reported that closing of the street for the recess periold did not work a hardship on motorists or property owners.
Those owning cars in the two-block section are allowed to go through the police lines to and from their homes. The street, he said, is not a principal artery of traffic and the two blocks closed are very steep. A count, he said, revealed that only five machines were stopped in the course of a day during the closure period.
The Brookline Board of Trade has refused to act on complaints.
School authorities said the lots owned by the school are too small for use as playgrounds and entirely unavailable in wet weather.
Twenty-Four Year Later - Students Playing At Recess
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