Brookline Boulevard

A scene at the lower end of Brookline Boulevard
after the Boulevard reconstruction in 1936.
The car is standing at Bodkin Street, which
up to that time had been Brookline Boulevard.
The lower end of Brookline Boulevard in 1936, after the rerouting of the Boulevard onto the streetcar right-of-way.
The car is at the intersection with Bodkin Street, which up to that time was designated as Brookline Boulevard.

A great place to view vintage photos of Pittsburgh and it's many communities is through the University of Pittsburgh online digital archive. There are over 300 photos of Brookline, and most of them have been used on this website. There is also a zoom feature, which allows a more detailed glimpse of different locations in each photo. Shown here are the zoom-ins of images already posted on the Brookline Connection. One master photo can be made into multiple separate images. Shown here are the pictures within the pictures.

Brookline Boulevard was officially christened in 1905, when residential development in this part of West Liberty Borough began to take off. Prior to that it was considered Hunter Avenue from West Liberty Avenue to Pioneer. It was known as Knowlson Avenue from Pioneer through to Whited Street. Over the years Brookline Boulevard became the Commercial District and center of activity around with the Brookline community grew.

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A map showing Brookline Boulevard, then
designated as Knowlson Avenue, in 1905.
A map showing the route of Brookline Boulevard (then known as Knowlson Avenue), from Pioneer (Lang) Avenue through to
the West Liberty Borough boundary with Fairhaven at Whited (Oak) Street. Edgebrook is designated Hughey Road.

 

A map showing the Brookline Junction
and surrounding streets in 1905.    A map showing the Brookline Junction
and surrounding streets in 1910.
A map showing the Brookline Junction in 1905 (left) and again in 1910. Note how the street names are different in 1905,
when this was part of West Liberty Borough. Brookline was annexed into the city of Pittsburgh on January 3, 1908.
Also, when the 1905 map was published, there was no trolley service. That was first established later that
year as a single-line route that went from West Liberty Avenue all the way through to Saw Mill Run.

 

A boy stands next to a wagon at the junction of
Brookline Boulevard and West Liberty Avenue in 1909.    Two men at the signpost at the Brookline Junction - 1909.
A young boys stands next to a wagon (left), and two men by the signpost, at the Brookline Junction in 1909.

 

a home at the corner of Brookline Boulevard
(Bodkin Street) and Pioneer Avenue in 1909.    Looking up Brookline Boulevard
(Bodkin Street) in 1909.
A home at the corner of Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street), and a view from the lower end of the boulevard, in 1909.
The home on the left was moved to Berkshire Avenue before the Brookline Boulevard reconstruction in 1935.
Then, in 1999, the home was razed during the construction of the present-day CVS Pharmacy.

 

A horse pulling a wagonload of bricks up
Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin street) in 1909.    Construction workers taking a break in 1909.
A horse pulling a wagonload of bricks (left) up Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street), and workers taking a break, in 1909.

 

A view of homes at the lower end of Brookline Boulevard
(Bodkin Street) and along West Liberty Avenue in 1909.    Homes at the lower end of Brookline Boulevard
(Bodkin Street) near the junction in 1909.
Two views of homes on the lower end of Brookline Boulevard, looking from Pioneer Avenue (left) and West Liberty
Avenue (right), in 1909. The photo on the left also shows some buildings along West Liberty. Visible is the rear
of the Oyer estate and the former Knowlson Methodist Church, which was the first church built in Brookline.

 

A view taken from Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street)
in 1909 showing the Pittsburgh Railways right-of-way
for streetcars and also some of the landscape in
Dormont, including new homes on Espy Avenue.
A view taken from Brookline Boulevard (Bodkin Street) and Pioneer Avenue showing the Pittsburgh Railways streetcar
right-of-way (near the bottom) that would one day become part of the Boulevard Loop, in 1909. At that time
the Brookline route was a single-track line. Also visible are new homes along Espy Avenue in Dormont.
The fields between the streetcar line and West Liberty were part of the Oyer estate.

 

The Triangle Park at the intersection of Brookline
Boulevard, Chelton Queensboro Avenues in 1910.    Approaching the intersection of Chelton Avenue
and Queensboro Avenue, off of Brookline Boulevard,
in 1910. Some homes along Berkshire Avenue and
Woodbourne Avenue are visible to the right.
The Triangle Park (left) at the intersection of Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton Avenues in 1910. There is a
Freehold Real Estate Office and a small garden where the cannon and war memorial are today. There is an empty lot
where the United Presbyterian Church stands today. It was purchased in 1911. Also visible is Resurrection
Church/School under construction along Creedmoor Avenue; A view of the intersection of Queensboro
and Chelton Avenues (right), with homes along Berkshire and Woodbourne Avenues also visible.

 

A view of the lower end of Brookline Boulevard
(Bodkin Street) taken from Wenzell Avenue in 1913.    Wm J Harley's Express Moving and Hauling
near the Brookline Junction in 1915.
A view of the lower end of Brookline Boulevard, now Bodkin Street, taken in 1913 from Wenzell Avenue in Beechview,
and Wm. J. Harley's Express Moving and General Hauling (right), located near the Brookline Junction, in 1915.
The 39-Brookline streetcar tracks pass in front of the building. The white brick structure still stands today.

 

Brookline Boulevard in 1924, looking in the
direction of Creedmoor Avenue.
Brookline Boulevard in 1924, looking along the streetcar rails in the direction of Creedmoor Avenue.

 

Brookline Boulevard, looking towards
Stebbins Avenue, in 1916.    A home along Brookline in 1916.
A view of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards Stebbins Avenue (left), and a new home along the residential side in 1916. Visible in the left photo is the United Presbyterian Church's original Stone Chapel at Queensboro and Chelton Avenues.

 

A new home along Brookline Boulevard
near Flatbush Avenue in 1916.    Businesses (including Brookline News) on the
800 block of Brookline Boulevard in 1933.
A new home (left), and a Freehold Real Estate billboard stating "This is Brookline" and advertising new home sales, near
Flatbush Avenue in 1916; A view of businesses, including Brookline News, on the 900 block of Brookline Boulevard in 1933.

 

A map showing the Brookline Boulevard, from
Pioneer Avenue to Queensboro Avenue, in 1926.
A map showing the buildings along Brookline Boulevard, from Pioneer Avenue to Queensboro Avenue, in 1926.
At this time there were still plenty of undeveloped lots along the boulevard and side streets.

 

A 1926 look at Brookline Boulevard from Whited
Street looking east towards Breining with
a view of Bellaire Place in the foreground.
A 1926 look at the lower end of Brookline Boulevard, taken from Whited Street, looking east towards Breining Street,
with a view of Bellaire Place in the foreground. Homes along Oakridge Street can be seen in the distance.

 

A Kroger Market on Brookline Boulevard in 1933.    Dutch Dry Cleaning Company and another
market on Brookline Boulevard in 1933.
A Kroger grocery store, the Dutch Dry Cleaning Store and another small market along Brookline Boulevard in 1933.

 

The Brookline Pressing Company in 1933.    Bilsing's Meat Market and an A&P in 1933.
The Brookline Pressing Company (now A-Boss Opticians), Bilsing's Meat Market and an A&P on Brookline Boulevard in 1933.

 

The Fleming Car Stop on Brookline Boulevard in 1935.    Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1935.
The Fleming Car Stop (left), and the intersection of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue, in 1935. The large home on
the right belonged to David Hunter, whose family were large landowners from the early days of West Liberty Borough.
What is now considered Bodkin Street was once called Hunter Avenue. An apartment complex stands on this spot today.

 

The intersection of Brookline Boulevard
and Pioneer Avenue in 1935.    A gas station and auto service shop stands at the
intersection of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer in 1935.
Pedestrians (left), and a gas station (right), at the intersection of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue, in 1935.

 

The intersection with Pioneer Avenue in 1935.    A bulldozer stands in front of the new retaining wall in 1935.
This is the wall that has the Brookline Mural today.
The intersection with Pioneer Avenue (left), and the new retaining wall along the Boulevard Loop, in 1935. The wall
on the right stands today and is covered with the Brookline Mural, painted in 1996 by Jennifer Rempel.

 

A woman with a shopping bag stands at the corner
of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer in 1935.
A woman stands with her grocery bag on the ground at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1935.

 

Installing the new trolley tracks
on the Boulevard Loop in 1935.    Curious kids come down to watch
the workers laying tracks in 1935.
Workers installing streetcar tracks on the Boulevard Loop (left), and curious kids coming to watch the work, in 1935.

 

A car parked along Brookline Boulevard
across from Kenilworth Avenue in 1935.    Construction work along the Brookline Boulevard
loop, Near Kenilworth Avenue in 1935.
A car parked along the railing (left), and construction work on the boulevard loop, both near Kenilworth Avenue, in 1935.

 

Homes along the Brookline Boulevard Loop
near Kenilworth Avenue in 1935.    Homes along the Brookline Boulevard Loop
at Kenilworth Avenue in 1935.
Homes along the Brookline Boulevard loop, at the Kenilworth Avenue intersection, in 1935.

 

A map showing the Brookline Junction
and surrounding streets in 1926.    A map showing the Brookline Junction
and surrounding streets in 1940.
A map showing the Brookline Junction in 1926 (left) and again in 1940. This shows the route of the Boulevard both
before and after the 1935 reconstruction and rerouting of the roadway onto the streetcar right-of-way.

 

A group of surveyors inspecting work on the trolley
lines during the boulevard reconstruction in 1935.
Surveyors inspecting construction work along the Boulevard Look in 1935.

 

An inbound streetcar approaches the Fleming
Stop near Kenilworth Avenue in 1935.    The Sun Oil Company sign and the Brookline Boulevard
signpost at the Brookline Junction in 1936.
An inbound streetcar approaches the Fleming Car Stop, near Kenilworth Avenue, in 1935 left), and the Sun Oil Company
sign and decorative lighting fixtures, along with the Brookline Boulevard signpost, at the Brookline Junction, in 1936.

 

Brookline Boulevard and Anderson's Acres - 1936.
The 1400 block of Brookline Boulevard stands in the distance, beyond the fields of the Anderson Farm, in 1936.
This farmland is now the site of Brookline Memorial Park and the Brookline Community Center ballfields.

 

An A&P market on the 500 block
near the firehouse in 1936.    The intersection with Castlegate Avenue in 1936.
The front of the A&P market (left), and the intersection with Castlegate Avenue, in 1936. The pedestrian traffic,
and the gentlemen engaging in a conversation by the Brookline firehouse, looks like it could be happening today.

 

A view towards the Castlegate Avenue intersection in 1936.    A view near the Castlegate Avenue intersection in 1936.
Two views looking towards the Castlegate Avenue intersection, and boulevard homes to the right, in 1936.

 

Meyer's Amoco service station at Pioneer Avenue in 1936.    Shenkel's Bar and Cafe, and the Brookline
Pharmacy, near Pioneer Avenue, in 1936.
Meyers Amoco service station (left), and Shenkel's Bar and the Brookline Pharmacy (right), near Pioneer Avenue in 1936.

 

A dog sleeps in the sidewalk in front
of the A&P market in 1936.    The display in front of the A&P market
on the 500 block in 1936.
A sleeping dog (left), and the display and window ads in front of the A&P market, in 1936.

 

Beer delivery in 1936.
A beer delivery along the 500 block of Brookline Boulevard in 1936.

 

Looking towards the Brookline Junction
with West Liberty Avenue in 1936.    A vehicle in the one-hour parking zone
across from Wedgemere Avenue in 1936.
A view towards the Brookline Junction (left), and a vehicle parked across from Wedgemere Avenue, in 1936.
The tire shop in the photo to the left is located where the McDonald's restaurant stands today.

 

Ed Seebacher's service station at
the Brookline Junction in 1936.    A vehicle pulls out onto West Liberty Avenue
at the Brookline Junction in 1936.
Ed Seebacher's service station (left), and a customer pulling onto West Liberty, at the Brookline Junction, in 1936.

 

A view up Brookline Boulevard from the
junction with West Liberty in 1936.    Gas pumps at the service station at
the Brookline Junction in 1936.
A view up Brookline Boulevard from the junction (left), and gas pumps at Seebacher's service station, in 1936.

 

A view across West Liberty Avenue from the
Brookline Junction in 1936. This is where the
McDonalds restaurant is located today.    Cars parked near the intersection
with Pioneer Avenue in 1936.
A view across the Brookline Junction (left), and cars parked near Pioneer Avenue, in 1936.

 

A view of the 500 block looking
towards Pioneer Avenue in 1946.
A view of storefronts along the 500 block of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards Pioneer Avenue, in 1936.

 

A home on Bodkin Street at the intersection of
Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue in 1936.    A view along the 500 block in 1936.
The Bodkin Street home at the intersection of Pioneer Avenue (left), and a view of pedestrian traffic and
storefronts along the 500 block of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards Castlegate Avenue, in 1936.

 

The railing at Pioneer Avenue in 1936.    The sidewalk approaching Pioneer Avenue in 1936.
The metal railing at the boulevard and Pioneer Avenue (left), and the sidewalk approaching Pioneer (right), in 1936.

 

A view towards Pioneer Avenue in 1936.    A view towards Pioneer Avenue in 1936.
A view of storefronts looking towards Pioneer Avenue (left), and a woman with a baby carriage out for a stroll, in 1936.

 

The Grand Opening of Blue Bonnet Bakery in 1946.
The interior of Blue Bonnet Bakery during the Grand Opening in 1946. The bakery was remodeled in 1951
and remained a popular Brookline bakery until closing in the early-1990s.

 

A view of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards
 the intersection with Castlegate Avenue, in 1967.
A view of Brookline Boulevard, looking towards the intersection with Castlegate Avenue, in 1967. As with
the
previous 1936 photo, it looks as though this classic boulevard scene could be happening today.
Brookline Boulevard has a timeless quality that makes it easily recognizable whatever the year.

 

Party Cake Shop has been in business since 1961.    Demmas Market at 934 Brookline Boulevard
was in business from 1946 to 1985.
Party Cake Bakery, at 706 Brookline Boulevard, has been in business for over fifty years, since 1961.
Demma's Market, at 934 Brookline Boulevard, operated for forty years, from 1946 to 1985.

 

The East Brookline Shopping Center.
The East Brookline Shopping Center at Breining Street was a popular destination for those living in the 32nd Ward.
Shown here in the mid-1970s, there was the Coin-Op Laundry, Open Pantry Market and Manco's Pharmacy.
Across Breining Street, along the Boulevard, was Jay's Hardware and Mary and Bob's Bar.
If you look closely you will see the rainbow that followed a brief rainstorm.

 

The Foodland grocery store, where
Pitaland is presently located, in 1967.    Kribel's Bakery in 1967.
The Foodland grocery store (left) and Kribel's Bakery, both located on the 500 block of Brookline Boulevard, in 1967.
Foodland is where Pitaland is presently located. Kribel's Bakery has been in business on the Boulevard for over 65 years.

 

The interior of Kribel's Bakery.
The interior of Kribel's Bakery, well-known around Pittsburgh for it's fine cakes and other treats.

 

Nino's Barber Shop.    Garrubba Brothers Meat Market.
Nino's Barber Shop (left), located across from the cannon, and Garrubba Brothers Meat Market, on the 500 block.
Both of these businesses were long-time boulevard establishments that closed in the late-1990s.

 

A view along Brookline Boulevard, looking
from near Glenarm Avenue in 1985.
A along Brookline Boulevard commercial district, looking from near Glenarm Avenue in 1985.

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Brookline Boulevard Commemorative glasses from 1982.    Brookline Boulevard Commemorative coasters from the 1982.
A set of Brookline Boulevard commemorative glasses (left) and coasters (right) sold in 1982. They show old
Mellon Bank at the corner of Stebbins Avenue, the Cannon, the firehouse and the Carnegie Library.

 

Freehold Brookline Commemorative Spoon - 1907.
Souvenir sterling silver spoons that were offered by the Freehold Real Estate Company to new homebuyers back
in 1907, during Brookline's initial building boom. The ornate spoon features the name
"Brookline" and an image of a streetcar on Brookline Boulevard.

 

Freehold Brookline Commemorative Spoon - 1907    Freehold Brookline Commemorative Spoon - 1907

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