Streets of Brookline

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Beacon St. Looking West Toward Coolidge Corner, 1888
This photo was taken shortly before the widening of Beacon St. The house of Charles H. Stearns is on the left. Its apparent standing as a typical house on Beacon St. is misleading and requires explanation:
  • The house was built in 1767 before Beacon St. existed (1851). It fronted on Pleasant St. and was positioned at a right angle to the street. It is seen at an angle here because Pleasant St. ran diagonally across Beacon St. approximately where the carriage is seen.
  • The driveway (viewed in the Pleasant St. photos) is on the left side of the house in this photo, as is the front of the house.
  • Charles Stearns would soon be compelled to move his house 400 feet to the southwest to Harvard St. to accommodate the 1888 widening of Beacon St., a requirement he actively opposed.
With the death of Charles H. Stearns in October 1935, the house, the last holdout in a prime commercial location, was demolished. This photo also has an excellent view of how the planks were slightly raised on the wooden sidewalks

[Courtesy of the Digital Commonwealth (CC BY-NC-ND). From the Brookline Photograph Collection published by the Public Library of Brookline]