Some Photos of Moore Park From The Days of Old>
Joseph F. Moore Park is a Pittsburgh
city park located off of Pioneer Avenue in Brookline. Moore Park opened in 1940
and its many fine attractions include an olympic sized swimming pool, a water
slide, three lighted tennis courts, and a children's playground.
The park also includes an outdoor basketball
court, a whiffleball court, a regulation sized lighted baseball field and
a smaller field, an outside spash pool with a water fountain and a multi-purpose
recreation building. The facility is one of several community parks nestled in
the hills around the City of Pittsburgh, and the oldest of two parks here
Linda Dimitroff cools off in the water fountain
in 1958 (left) and Brookline Youth Soccer practice in the Fall of 1999.
For many years now, Moore Park has been
one of the community's landmark gathering places. In the summertime, the pool
is full of swimmers and the playground buzzing with children and their parents.
For years, the ball fields were used by local baseball, football and softball
Today, the fields are still used extensively
by the Brookline Little League, the Brookline Youth Soccer Association and the Seton LaSalle High School baseball team.
Those who were here during the 1950s will remember the festival and firework displays,
held each Independence Day, on the lower field.
Charlie Marratto takes a cut on the wiffle ball
court in 1969 (left) and the regulation sized baseball field on the lower
level, shown in 1952, hosted Brookline Little League games and the
Independence Day fireworks in years gone by.
Many other sporting and civic events have been held here over the years. The field
is still heavily used today.
Moore Park has seen many upgrades over the
years. The pool, which used to have three diving boards (one quite high) and
descended to sixteen feet at its deepest, has been modified. It now sports a water slide
instead of the diving boards, and it no longer is as deep as in the past, going to
just six feet in the deep end. The building is no longer used as a bath house,
but instead has been modified for use as a community meeting place.
The swimming pool at Moore Park has been the
summer highlight every year since it opened on August 9, 1940. Shown
here in 1969, several generations of Brookliners spent their hot summer days at the
During the 1990s, the playground was upgraded
to include new child-safe features and additional parking was added near the lower
field to accomodate the large crowds for sporting events. In 1999, City Councilman
Michael Diven dedicated a new pavilion on the walkway beside the swimming pool.
The three tennis courts were rebuilt in 2012
along with the installation of new lighting on the courts and lower baseball field.
Other than these changes, the park appearance has remained pretty much
the same since the day it was dedicated over seventy years ago.
The refurbished tennis courts at Moore
Park, shown here in August 2014.
Up until 1970, Moore Park had its own
Recreation Director. From 1957 until 1970 the director was none other than
legendary Brookline boxing coach Chuck
Senft. Moore Park was the
original home of the Brookline Boxing Club, known locally as "Charlie's Angels.".
Over the years, the club built a reputation
as one of the finest boxing programs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When
the Brookline Recreation Center in Brookline Memorial Park opened in 1971, Chuck and his Angels moved into the
new facility. Chuck's career as Brookline's Recreation Director spanned forty-seven
years, from 1957 to 2003.
The swimming pool and baseball field are two of the
main highlights at Moore Park.
Moore Park was built as part of
a national and city-wide effort to create public recreation facilities for the
many urban neighborhoods. The park has its roots in efforts begun by the principal of
the West Liberty School District, Joseph F. Moore to provide playground space for children
in the Brookline neighborhood. Professor Moore was an ardent advocate that
playgrounds were the best answer to the problem of juvenile
Since 1911, when Moore spurred efforts to
have the city purchase space near Brookline School for playground use, his
vision began to take shape. The first playground lasted only a couple
years until the land was needed for school expansion. In 1930, the Joint
Civic Committee of Brookline, of which Professor Moore was a member, began work
on community improvement.
The playground at Moore Park has several
attractions to keep Brookline children active and entertained.
One of the initiatives was creation of
a new public park. The decade of the 1930s saw many civic improvements in the
community infrastructure and the addition of a Carnegie Library. In 1931, when
sections of the Paul Farm became available, the Pittsburgh City Council purchased
the ten acres, which had been used as a golf driving range for several years. The land was earmarked for
use as a park in the name of the Brookline Boosters Association.
Back on August 5, 1931, the Pittsburgh
Press published a short clip stating that Councilman Alderdice and William J.
Soost, a Council candidate, addressed members of the Brookline Boosters
Association at the German Beneficial Hall on the boulevard. At the meeting,
Councilman Alderdice announced that he would sponsor a resolution to name the
new park after Thomas Hester, the president of the Brookline Boosters
Preliminary clearing of the land designated
for construction of Moore Park in July 1934.
Preliminary work was done in July of
1934 to clear the land in preparation for the building of the park. Four
years later, after the city obtained the necessary funding and approvals, and
in cooperation with the Federal Works Project Administration, work began on
the park along Pioneer Avenue. Construction of the park ten acre facility took
two years to complete.
of Moore Park Under Construction * 1939-1941>
Finally, on August 9, 1940, the dreams of
Professor Moore became reality when Mayor Cornelius Scully dedicated the newly
constructed Moore Park. Rather than "Hester Park," as envisioned a decade earlier,
the new Brookline park was christened "Joseph F. Moore Park" in honor of the man
who worked so hard to see that the children of Brookline had a safe place in
which to play.
The Brookline Recreation Center hosted
a Flag Football League at Moore Park during the fall of 2005 and 2006.
Photos of Moore Park
Over the Years
The Paul Farm * 1910
Recollections of Joseph F. Moore
Bob O Link Golf Driving Range * 1930
Moore Park Construction * 1939-1940
Moore Park Pool * 1946
Moore Park Swim Meet * 1953
Moore Park Fountain * 1958
The Brookline Royals * 1967-1971
Maury Wills Baseball Camp * July 17, 1968
Pushball Championship * July 26, 1968
Connie Hawkins Basketball Camp * Summer 1969
Punt, Pass and Kick * Fall 1969
Pick-Up Football Game * Fall 1969
New Pavilion * Fall 1999
Moore Park in the Fall * 2004
Brookline Flag Football * 2005-2006
Moore Pool * Summer 2008
Youngsters on the Merry-Go-Round in
Generations of life guards kept swimmers safe
and the pump swings were a playground favorite. Both photos - 1969.
Brookliners past and present have many
memories of Moore Park. For myself, it was swimming on summer days as a young
teen and pitching a game for the 1976 Senior League All-Stars. Others speak of
the Independance Day Festivals and the fireworks that used to be held on the
lower field, with the fading embers descending upon a packed crowd
lining the steps.
One thing, however, that only the old-timers
might recall, is that Art Rooney and his Pittsburgh Steelers once used the bath house
as a place for team meetings and workouts. Back in the 1940s it was a common site
to see the Chief and his team milling about the building working on game plans
and reviewing game films. It's just another of the fun facts that make up
seventy-plus years of Moore Park history.
Moore Park swimming pool in the summer of
1946, complete with high and low diving boards.
If you have any old
photos of Moore Park that you would like to share with us,
please notify us via our guestbook, located on the Brookline History homepage,
or send us a message on the Brookline Connection facebook page.