Brookline Historical Society
Put On Your Walking Shoes & Step Into the Past
Early Fall Walking Tours

150 Years of Shopping in Coolidge Corner

When: Sunday, September 30th, 9am -10am
Meet: Coolidge Corner Inbound T-Stop, Brookline, MA
Led by: Ken Liss of the Brookline Historical Society
Time & Distance: 1 hour and 1/2 mile
Register: coolidgecorner-tour.eventbrite.com
Coolidge Corner, circa 1905
Coolidge Corner, circa 1905
Coolidge Corner was home to just one store—Coolidge & Brother—from the 1850s to the 1890s. Following the widening of Beacon Street in 1887-88 and the arrival of the S.S. Pierce store a few years later, a major new shopping district took root. Almost all of the existing buildings in this still thriving commercial area were built between 1890 and 1930. Join Brookline Historical Society President Ken Liss for a journey back to the initial development of the Coolidge Corner business district and get a glimpse of local shopping in the early decades of the 20th Century.


Brookline Village Walking Tour

When: Sunday, October 7th, 10am -11:30am
Meet: The Village Works, 202 Washington Street, Brookline, MA
Led by: Ken Liss of the Brookline Historical Society
Time & Distance: 1 1/2 hour and 1 1/2 mile
Register: brooklinevillage-tour.eventbrite.com
Brookline Village, Harvard Sq.
Brookline Village, circa 1915
The tour will begin and end at The Village Works, 202 Washington Street, in a 19th century building that began as the shop of a local house painter and has been a fish market, a hardware store, and a series of restaurants (including The Village Coach House and Davios). Space may be limited. Reserve now at and be sure to indicate how many in your group will attend.

Highlights will include:
  • Brookline’s earliest commercial center, featuring brick buildings from the 1870s
  • The Lindens, one of the first planned residential developments in town (1840s)
  • Emerson Garden and the Elijah Emerson House on Davis Avenue (1846)
  • White Place, with one of the largest concentrations of vernacular architecture in Brookline
  • The town’s civic center, site of the Town Hall, the public library, the Pierce School, and other municipal buildings.


The Beaconsfield Terraces:
"An Experiment in Domestic Economy"

When: Sunday, October 21st, 10am -11am
Meet: Star Market, 1717 Beacon Street, Brookline
Led by: Ken Liss of the Brookline Historical Society
Time & Distance: 1 hour and 1 mile
Register: beaconsfieldtour.eventbrite.com
Beaconsfield Terraces
The Beaconsfield Terraces, on the south side of Beacon Street from Dean Road to just beyond Tappan Street, were one of the more unusual developments to follow the creation of the Beacon Street boulevard in the 1880s. Built in the early 1890s by Eugene Knapp, a wool merchant, the terraces were a residential complex in which people owned their units but shared ownership of a 6-acre park, stables, a playhouse (known as the Casino), tennis courts, a playground, and a central heating plant. A bell system connected the houses to the stables so that people could call for their horse and carriage. Today, only the residential buildings (Richter, Frances, Marguerite, Fillmore, Gordon, Bernard, and Parkman Terraces) remain.
Welcome to the Brookline Historical Society
The Brookline Historical Society is a non-profit community organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Brookline's diverse history. The society's headquarters are located in the heart of Coolidge Corner at the Edward Devotion House, one of Brookline's oldest colonial period structures. The Society also maintains the circa 1780 Widow Harris House as well as the Putterham School located in Larz Anderson Park. Our membership program is active and volunteers are welcome.
Brookline Village, Harvard Sq.


We invite you to browse our growing online collection of over 700 historic photos, postcards, atlases and more.
 
President Ken Liss Blogs on Brookline Past & Present
The Long History of Wooden Sidewalks in Brookline
Mention wooden walkways and most people will probably think of boardwalks along the beach or over wetlands or other fragile environments. Some might picture scenes of raised platforms on dusty streets in the Old West as seen in movies and on TV. Few will think of a place like Brookline. ...
See the full blog at brooklinehistory.blogspot.com
Virtual Walking Tour
Click to Start Tour
Brookline's rich history can now take a virtual walking tour of the town via our new online map. The map presents pictures and descriptions (with links for more information) about homes, commercial buildings, churches and synagogues, schools, neighborhoods, parks, and other parts of the town.

Most of the sites marked on the map are in Brookline Village, Coolidge Corner, Longwood, and the area around the First Parish Church and the old Village Green. Other sites and other areas of Brookline are being added, helping to bring to light stories behind familiar and not-so-familiar places in town.