As we look at historic maps, one of the things that stands out is how the world is subdivided. Take a look at a globe and note how the earth's land mass is subdivided into parcels, which are generally shaded with different colors. These can be broken down from the various continents all the way to individual property lots.
The world is divided into continents. The continents are then divided into countries, like the United States of America. The United States can further be divided into states, such as Pennsylvania. The State of Pennsylvania can then be divided into counties, in our case Allegheny County, which is further subdivided into the various boroughs and municipalities, like the City of Pittsburgh.
The City of Pittsburgh is divided into numerous neighborhoods, like Brookline, which can then be broken down into the various subdivisions that were created as large land plots were sold and slated for residential and commercial development. These distinct subdivisions are then parsed into the individual plots of land, on which exist a residential home or a business establishment.
Through approximately 1950, the community of Brookline can be divided into seventy-two separate subdivisions. Each was created when that parcel of land was purchased by one of the many development companies and populated with residential housing, or in some cases left undeveloped, as with Hays Woods or the Whited-Jacob Greenway.
Below is a color-shaded
map, with an overlay of the street network, showing
Click on the map to enlarge.
These subdivisions were often named after the previous owner that sold the land, or given the title of the improvement company assigned to build the infrastructure and buildings that make up that part of the neighborhood.
The original three subdivisions created in Brookline were established in 1902, and first shown on a 1905 map of Pittsburgh. They were the Fleming Place Plan, the Hughey Farm Plan, and the Paul Place Plan.
From 1905 to 1907, Brookline's 1st, 2nd 3rd Ward and 4th Wards were under development, forming the heart of the new community. As the neighborhood rapidly grew, more and more individiual subdivisions were created and built upon.
By the mid-1950s, most of the available land suited for development had been sold, and Brookline had grown from those initial seven subdivisions to a total of seventy-two. Since that time there have been a few new plots of homes built in Brookline, like the small tract at the end of Dunster Street.
In addition, newly available data shows that some of these subdivisions were originally listed under one name, then listed under another on the property deed. For instance, the East Brookline #4 lot was also known as Pitt Manor.
Since plot maps are not available after 1940, it is impossible to correctly identify and name the few additional subdivisions, so our research presented here ends as of 1950 (with a couple exceptions).
Below is a map with a
numbered legend showing the names of the seventy-two subdivisions.
Brookline Subdivision Legend
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