Considered a suburb of Boston, this cosmopolitan Town is far from what many consider a suburb. Brookline is a diverse community, from its international population to its many different neighborhoods and the variety of housing stock, offering a wide selection of life styles. One way to catch Brookline’s flavor is to look at each of the neighborhoods and try to describe them. Better yet, we suggest you visit each one and decide for yourself. Here’s a tour we suggest you take:
COMING FROM BOSTON ON BEACON STREET…
Lower Beacon Street Neighborhood consists of COTTAGE FARM to the north of Beacon Street and LONGWOOD MALL to the south of Beacon Street once you enter the town limits by crossing over St. Mary’s Street, which is also the first T-stop in Brookline on the C-Line. Take time to walk up and down Beacon Street, a wide, two-sided street divided by the aboveground section of the C-Line and enjoy the flavor of the shops and restaurants. You will see the street lined with quality brownstone and brick buildings (all building facades along Beacon Street in Brookline are protected from change by the local Historic Preservation Commission) consisting of condominiums and apartment buildings, dating back over 100 years, many with significant architectural details.
These two desirable areas are part of the LAWRENCE SCHOOL DISTRICT:
COTTAGE FARM, a local historic district, is an exclusive section in the northeast corner of Brookline consisting predominantly of large, architecturally significant single family homes. Abutting the Amory Park and the Halls Pond Bird Sanctuary on the western borders and Boston University and its Boston neighborhoods on the eastern borders distinguishes this neighborhood. Easily accessible to both the Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street shopping and T-stop areas, this neighborhood offers quality homes in close proximity to all conveniences.
LONGWOOD MALL AND LONGWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD is influenced by its proximity to the Harvard University Medical area with its multitude of teaching hospitals on its eastern borders and its “Back Bay” style townhouses and buildings scattered around a neighborhood of large, quality homes. The Longwood Mall is a National Historic Registered Park consisting of the largest collection of antique Beech trees in the United States and offers one of the special green spaces in Brookline. This neighborhood’s conveniences include access to Beacon Street, the shops at the Longwood Medical Area, and the Longwood T-Stop on the D-Line.
COOLIDGE CORNER is another stop on the Beacon Street C-Line along with being one of the more prominent and well-known neighborhoods in the town. The actual “Corner” is where Beacon Street crosses Harvard Street. The housing here is mostly condominium and apartment buildings, however, there are also numerous single and multi family houses as well. The town has two hotels located here and is home to a few of the many Inns. In addition there is a senior center which satisfies the needs of a large number of Brookline residents who want to keep their home in this fabulous location. The surrounding neighborhood residents consider themselves living in Coolidge Corner since these commercial district influences them all. Almost anything and everything can be found in this corner, from international restaurants to McDonald’s, unique boutiques to name-brand stores and even a historic single-screen movie theatre. During the warmer months COOLIDGE CORNER hosts the Farmer’s Market and around the Holiday Season it along with other commercial district welcomes First Light Festival activities. The Boston Marathon, the Walk for Hunger (one of many fundraising walks) passes through this landmark intersection. Young families, local student population, professional singles and couples, plus a large senior population choose to call this neighborhood home. (It is also the home of the BROOKLINE OFFICE OF COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE). Though officially named where the crossing of two streets lie, this neighborhood stretches for blocks beyond the intersection.
Some of its important sites include:
THE ROSE GARDEN, at the crossing of St. Paul, Browne, Still, and Freeman Streets, is a true neighborhood park and recreational area. Named for its large collection of Town maintained rose bushes, this park welcomes its neighbors to the playground, baseball field, and park benches. Surrounded by a number of larger apartment and condominium buildings, multi-family houses, plus a sprinkling of single family houses, the neighbors enjoy a green oasis in an urban setting.
THE DEVOTION SCHOOL is Coolidge Corner’s neighborhood school with its large playground area to its sprawling playing fields. It also shares the grounds with, A Historic Landmark, the original schoolhouse, which is still open to visitors. The school hosts many local events and is the Meeting place for a number of community groups.
COREY HILL PARK has some of the most spectacular views of Brookline and Boston. Nestled in a neighborhood of lovely homes and a few larger buildings, the park is a great place to view the 4th of July Boston Harbor fireworks display or enjoy a green spot with room to roam up away from the crowd. Take time for a visit and we are sure you will return.
TEMPLE OHABEI SHALOM, Massachusetts first synagogue, is both a local and national historic district building. Its significant architectural details along with its puddingstone construction, makes this a landmark building on Beacon Street.
JFK CROSSING, from Coolidge Corner, is North on Harvard Street less than a half a mile. Named for its proximity to the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy, this commercial district plus surrounding neighborhood, continues to be one of the most desirable areas in Brookline. The Kennedy Museum, the modest Colonial home located at 87 Beals Street, is now owned and operated by the National Park Service and welcomes visitors for a tour of the house, viewing of Kennedy memorabilia, and a video presentation of the life and times of John Kennedy.
In recent rimes, JFK CROSSING, has also been named LITTLE ISRAEL, due to its large collection of Kosher Restaurants and food stores, Jewish Bookstores and gift stores, and other ethnic influences. These commercial points of interest are blended into an area offering many other local conveniences servicing the diverse community. JFK CROSSING and COOLIDGE CORNER is also annual host to a birthday celebration for Israel.
WASHINGTON SQUARE is another stop on the C Greenline T service and is the intersection of Beacon and Washington Streets, located west of Coolidge Corner and is further identified by the four-sided clock in the intersection. The commercial area is experiencing a recent renaissance, with many new restaurants and local businesses joining landmark restaurants and businesses to offer everyone another great place to visit by car, by foot, or by T.
The neighborhood north of the square is influenced by the presence of the DRISCOLL SCHOOL, with its playing fields and community focus. The housing stock is a mixture of predominantly single and multi-family homes and abuts the Boston community of Brighton. Like the other Northern Brookline neighborhoods, it is very accessible to both Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue’s commercial areas and T-stops.
South of Beacon Street, the homes are scattered amongst a larger population of buildings and are influenced by WINTHROP HILL’S elevation offering some additional views of the surrounding beauty. At the top of the hill is Schick Park, with plenty of room for play and fun.
Southwest of Washington Square lies FISHER HILL, a neighborhood of larger single family and exclusive condominium residences serviced by the RUNKLE SCHOOL DISTRICT. Dean Park with its famous sledding hill, public tennis courts, and well-groomed grounds along with the campus of Newbury College add to the open green space of this fine neighborhood.
BROOKLINE VILLAGE has a feeling all its own! Compared to some of the New York neighborhoods like So Ho and the Village, this area has both the charm of a small town and the convenience of a city. It too is influenced by its proximity to the Longwood Medical Area and the D-Line of the T service, but has the added distinction of being the site of Town Hall, Police Headquarters, the main Fire Station, and the main branch of the Public Library. The PIERCE SCHOOL is another focus of this diverse community. It is also in close proximity to Brookline’s High School.
- To the west of Brookline Village is a neighborhood identified most by its proximity to Brookline High school, the only High School in town. Close to the High School you have a T-Stop on the D-Line of the Greenline, a very large town operated indoor swimming pool/ Recreation facility and a number of large open playing fields. The Town is very proud of the High School, which ranks academically in the top percentile in the State. In 1997, Brookline began a $53 million expansion and renovation of the High School and will be the envy of other communities for years to come. The housing stock surrounding the school consists of a number of quality single family homes, a few multi-family houses, and only a very small of larger buildings. The result is a very sought-after residential community in very close proximity to both Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner.
- To the south of the Village lie two important neighborhoods, PILL HILL and THE POINT. Pill Hill, a local Historic District neighborhood, has some of the finest collection of large Victorian-style homes in the area. Its name comes from the fact that the neighborhood is in very close proximity to the Longwood Medical Area, a Women’s Hospital (converted to The Park Condominiums), and at the foot of the hill was the old Brookline Hospital (now the site of an assisted living community). Over the years the area has attracted a large population of doctors and their families. THE POINT abuts PILL HILL and the Boston City Line community of Jamaica Plain. The housing stock consists of more modest homes including many two and three family houses. In recent years, the neighborhood’s multi-family housing stock has gone through the condo conversion process increasing the number of owner occupied homes in the neighborhood. PILL HILL and THE POINT residents are very proud of their LINCOLN SCHOOL a recently rebuilt primary school boasting a beautiful structure and a sought-after curriculum.
- SARGENT ESTATES is an exclusive, gated community to the west of THE POINT. It consists of large homes situated on very large parcels of land surrounded by mature trees and very well landscaped grounds. It has its own pond, Sargent Pond, which the homeowners maintain by collecting a common fee. The area has many unpaved connecting roads along with stone walls that create a very rural feeling when in reality you are only minutes, by car, to downtown Boston. Some of the highest sales prices of single family home in Metro Boston have been achieved in this area
CHESTNUT HILL is both a zip code (02467) and a part of Brookline. The zip code includes Brookline, Newton, and part of the Boston community of West Roxbury. Most locals will distinguish this area by the Neighborhoods, Olde Chestnut Hill and New Chestnut Hill.
- Olde Chestnut Hill, a local Historic District, has some of the most magnificent Estate Homes in Metro Boston along with other quality mid-sized homes. It is, by many, to be considered an exclusive neighborhood with many of the homes selling in excess of one million dollars. Its landmarks include part of the campus of Boston College, the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, the HEATH SCHOOL, The Longwood Cricket and Tennis Club, The Chestnut Hill School, Brimmer & May School, the Chestnut Hill Shopping Mall and movie theatres. Its boundaries are considered to be from Beacon Street to the north, Hammond Street and surrounding area to the West, Boylston Street (Route 9) to the south, and the Heath School area to the East.
- New Chestnut Hill is also called South Brookline by many of its residents. Though the zip code is the same, the neighborhoods are very different with the majority of the housing stock being moderate-size single family homes built after 1930. Its only commercial district is Putterham Square, a small strip of restaurant-retail-and small food stores. The area, due to its mainly residential component, gives the feel of being a true suburb, but it is only minutes by car to more urban sections. This area is greener than most sections of Brookline.
- The Hammond Pond Reservation lies to the Northwest of the area along with Putterham Golf Course, the Town’s only public golf course, abutting its northern section. The eastern section abuts part of the Brookline Country Club and the Larz Anderson Park; the largest town owned park, which includes a skating rink and the Museum of Transportation. The southern part abuts the Boston Line neighboring community of West Roxbury. The BAKER SCHOOL, another fine primary school, services the South Brookline area.
THE COUNTRY CLUB neighborhood is distinguished by its large estate homes on very large lots. Private roads, stone walls, elaborate private landscaping, and exclusive addresses of some of MetroBoston’s wealthiest residents ads to the notoriety of this section. The very exclusive Brookline Country Club has a very lengthy waiting list for new members spanning a number of years. It has been host to the U.S. Open and hosted the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament in 1999. The Brookline Reservoir is on the Northeast corner of this area and offers spectacular views of downtown Boston along with a favorite spot for walkers and joggers.