Brookline, Massachusetts

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Brookline, Massachusetts
Town
Photo montage of Brookline, MA.  From top to bottom, left to right: Brookline Village D-train stop, rooftop view overlooking Brookline Village Commercial District, Brookline Village fire department with Boston skyline in background, Walnut and High Streets in Brookline, Coolidge Corner scene, and Brookline American Civil War statue
Photo montage of Brookline, MA. From top to bottom, left to right: Brookline Village D-train stop, rooftop view overlooking Brookline Village Commercial District, Brookline Village fire department with Boston skyline in background, Walnut and High Streets in Brookline, Coolidge Corner scene, and Brookline American Civil War statue
Official seal of Brookline, Massachusetts
Seal
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°19′54″N 71°07′18″W / 42.33167°N 71.12167°W / 42.33167; -71.12167
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Settled 1638
Incorporated 1705
Government
 • Type Representative town meeting
Area
 • Total 6.8 sq mi (17.7 km2)
 • Land 6.8 sq mi (17.6 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 50 ft (15 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 58,732
 • Density 8,637.0/sq mi (3,337.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC−4)
ZIP code 02445, 02446, 02447, 02467
Area code(s) 617 / 857
FIPS code 25-09175
GNIS feature ID 0619456
Website www.brooklinema.gov/

Brookline /ˈbrʊkˌlɪn/, /ˈbrʊkˌln/ is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in the United States, and is a part of Greater Boston. Brookline borders six of Boston's neighborhoods: Brighton, Allston, Fenway-Kenmore, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury. The city of Newton lies to the west of Brookline. At the 2010 census, the population of the town was 58,732. Brookline was first settled in 1638 as a hamlet in Boston, but was incorporated as a separate town in 1705.

Etymology[edit]

Brookline was known as the hamlet of Muddy River and was considered a part of Boston until the Town of Brookline was independently incorporated in 1705. (The Muddy River was used as the Brookline-Boston border at incorporation.) It is said that the name derives from a farm therein once owned by Judge Samuel Sewall.[2]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Brookline has a total area of 6.8 sq mi (17.7 km2), all but 0.039 sq mi (0.1 km2) (0.44%) of which is land.

The northern part of Brookline, roughly north of the D-line tracks, is urban in character, as highly walkable and transit rich. The population density of this part of town is nearly 20,000 inhabitants per square mile (8,000 /km2), on a par with the densest neighborhoods in nearby Cambridge, Somerville and Chelsea, Massachusetts (the densest cities in New England), and just below that of central Boston's residential districts (Back Bay, South End, Fenway, etc.). The overall density of Brookline, which also includes suburban districts and grand estates south of the D-line, is still higher than that of many of the largest cities in the United States, especially in the South and West. Brookline borders Newton (part of Middlesex County) to the west and Boston (part of Suffolk County) in all other directions; it is therefore non-contiguous with any other part of Norfolk County. Brookline became an exclave in 1873, when the neighboring town of West Roxbury was annexed by Boston (and left Norfolk County to join Suffolk County), and Brookline refused to be annexed by Boston after the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873.

Brookline separates the bulk of the city of Boston (except for a narrow neck or corridor near the Charles River) from its westernmost neighborhoods of Allston-Brighton, which had been the separate town of Brighton until annexed by Boston in 1873.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Brookline, MA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 72.0
(22.2)
70.0
(21.1)
89.0
(31.7)
94.0
(34.4)
97.0
(36.1)
100.0
(37.8)
104.0
(40)
102.0
(38.9)
102.0
(38.9)
90.0
(32.2)
83.0
(28.3)
76.0
(24.4)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 36.0
(2.2)
39.0
(3.9)
45.0
(7.2)
56.0
(13.3)
66.0
(18.9)
76.0
(24.4)
82.0
(27.8)
80.0
(26.7)
72.0
(22.2)
61.0
(16.1)
52.0
(11.1)
41.0
(5)
58.83
(14.91)
Average low °F (°C) 22.0
(−5.6)
25.0
(−3.9)
31.0
(−0.6)
41.0
(5)
50.0
(10)
60.0
(15.6)
65.0
(18.3)
65.0
(18.3)
57.0
(13.9)
47.0
(8.3)
38.0
(3.3)
28.0
(−2.2)
44.08
(6.71)
Record low °F (°C) −30.0
(−34.4)
−18.0
(−27.8)
−8.0
(−22.2)
11.0
(−11.7)
31.0
(−0.6)
41.0
(5)
50.0
(10)
46.0
(7.8)
34.0
(1.1)
25.0
(−3.9)
−2.0
(−18.9)
−17.0
(−27.2)
−30
(−34.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.36
(85.3)
3.38
(85.9)
4.32
(109.7)
3.74
(95)
3.49
(88.6)
3.68
(93.5)
3.43
(87.1)
3.35
(85.1)
3.44
(87.4)
3.94
(100.1)
3.99
(101.3)
3.78
(96)
43.9
(1,115)
Source: <Weather.com= >Brookline, MA Weather Data. Open Publishing. 2009 http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/02445 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 21 February 2014. 

Brookline falls under the USDA 6b Plant Hardiness zone.[3]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[16] of 2010, there were 58,732 people, 24,891 households, and 12,233 families residing in the town. The population density was 8,701.0 people per square mile (3,247.3/km²). There were 26,448 housing units at an average density of 3,889.6 per square mile (1,501.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.3% White, 3.4% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 15.6% Asian (6.7% Chinese, 2.6% Indian, 2.3% Korean, 1.8% Japanese), 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.0% of the population (0.9% Mexican, 0.8% Puerto Rican). (Source: 2010 Census Quickfacts)

There were 25,594 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18, living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.2% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the town the population was spread out with 16.6% under the age of 18, 11.7%, from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $66,711, and the median income for a family was $92,993. Males had a median income of $56,861 versus $43,436 for females. The per capita income for the town was $44,327. About 4.5% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under the age of 18 and 7.5% of those ages 65 and older.

History[edit]

1858 map of north-central Norfolk County, showing Brookline (upper left) along with Dorchester, Roxbury and West Roxbury, all three of which were later annexed by Boston.

Once part of Algonquian territory, Brookline was first settled by European colonists in the early 17th century. The area was an outlying part of the colonial settlement of Boston and known as the hamlet of Muddy River. In 1705, it was incorporated as the independent town of Brookline. The northern and southern borders of the town were marked by two small rivers or brooks, hence the name. The northern border with Brighton (which was itself part of Cambridge until 1807) was Smelt Brook. (That name appears on maps starting at least as early as 1852, but sometime between 1888 and 1925 the brook was covered over.[17]) The southern boundary, abutting Boston, was the Muddy River.

The Town of Brighton was merged with Boston in 1874, and the Boston-Brookline border was redrawn to connect the new Back Bay neighborhood with Allston-Brighton. This created a narrow strip of land along the Charles River belonging to Boston, cutting Brookline off from the shoreline. It also put certain lands north of the Muddy River on the Boston side, including what are now Kenmore Square and Packard's Corner. The current northern border follows Commonwealth Avenue, and on the northeast, St. Mary's Street. When the Emerald Necklace of parks and parkways was designed for Boston by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1890s, the Muddy River was integrated into the Riverway and Olmsted Park, creating parkland accessible by both Boston and Brookline residents.

Throughout its history, Brookline has resisted being annexed by Boston, in particular during the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873. The neighboring towns of West Roxbury and Hyde Park connected Brookline to the rest of Norfolk County until they were annexed by Boston in 1874 and 1912, respectively, putting them in Suffolk County. Brookline is now separated from the remainder of Norfolk County.

Brookline has long been regarded as a pleasant and verdant environment. In 1841 edition of the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Andrew Jackson Downing described the area this way:

Brookline residents were among the first in the country to propose extending the vote to women. Benjamin F. Butler, in his 1882 campaign for Governor, advocated the idea.[19]

Transportation and economy[edit]

Two branches of upper Boston Post Road, established in the 1670s, passed through Brookline. Brookline Village was the original center of retail activity.[20] In 1810, the Boston and Worcester Turnpike, now Massachusetts Route 9, was laid out, starting on Huntington Avenue in Boston and passing through the village center on its way west.

Steam railroads came to Brookline in the middle of the 19th century. The Boston and Worcester Railroad was constructed in the early 1830s, and passed through Brookline near the Charles River. The rail line is still in active use, now paralleled by the Massachusetts Turnpike. The Highland Branch of the Boston and Albany Railroad was built from Kenmore Square to Brookline Village in 1847, and was extended into Newton in 1852. In the late 1950s, this would become the Green Line "D" Branch.

The portion of Beacon Street west of Kenmore Square was laid out in 1850. Streetcar tracks were laid above ground on Beacon Street in 1888, from Coolidge Corner to Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, via Kenmore Square.[citation needed] In 1889, they were electrified and extended over the Brighton border at Cleveland Circle. They would eventually become the Green Line "C" Branch.

Thanks to the Boston Elevated Railway system, this upgrade from horse-drawn carriage to electric trolleys occurred on many major streets all over the region, and made transportation into downtown Boston faster and cheaper. Much of Brookline was developed into a streetcar suburb, with large brick apartment buildings sprouting up along the new streetcar lines.

Culture[edit]

  • Brookline, along with the nearby Boston neighborhood of Brighton and the city of Newton, is a cultural hub for the Jewish community of Greater Boston.[21]
  • The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Metropolis of Boston is headquartered in Brookline.[22]

Points of interest[edit]

Overlooking Leverett Pond in Olmsted Park from the Brookline, MA side

Neighborhoods[edit]

Intersection of Harvard and Beacon Streets, Coolidge Corner, Brookline, MA

The neighborhoods, squares, and other notable areas of Brookline include:

There are many neighborhood associations, some of which overlap.[25][26]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

The town is served by the Public Schools of Brookline.[2] The student body at Brookline High School includes students from more than 50 countries. Many students attend Brookline High from surrounding neighborhoods in Boston such as Mission Hill and Mattapan through the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) system.

There are eight elementary schools in the Brookline Public School system: Baker School, Devotion, Driscoll, Heath, Lawrence, Lincoln, Pierce, and Runkle. As of December 2006, there were 6,089 K-12 students enrolled in the Brookline public schools. The system includes one early learning center, eight grades K-8 schools, and one comprehensive high school. The Old Lincoln School is a surplus building used by the town to temporarily teach students in when another school building is being renovated. It was rented in 2009 as the venue for the play Sleep No More.

The student body is 57.4% White, 18.1% Asian, 6.4% Black, 9.9% Hispanic, and 8.2% Multi-race. Approximately 30% of students come from homes where English is not the first language. (Data from Massachusetts department of education 2012–2013 Year)

Private schools[edit]

Several private primary and secondary schools are located in Brookline.

Higher education[edit]

Several institutes of higher education are located in Brookline, including:

The New England Institute of Art exterior, across from the Brookline Savings Bank
  • The New England Institute of Art [3]

Public libraries[edit]

  • Public Library of Brookline,[27] 361 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445
  • Coolidge Corner Branch Library, 31 Pleasant St., Brookline, MA 02446
  • Putterham Branch Library, 959 West Roxbury Pkwy., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Public transportation[edit]

Light rail and subway[edit]

Brookline is served by the C and D branches of the MBTA's Green Line trains, with inbound service to downtown Boston and outbound service to Newton.

Brookline Village, Brookline, MA MBTA D-Train stop

Bus[edit]

Brookline is served by MBTA bus service.

Government[edit]

Brookline is governed by a representative (elected) town meeting, which is the legislative body of the town, and a five-person Board of Selectmen that serves as the executive branch of the town. For more details about the roles and procedures within the government of Brookline, please see the town government's own description at Brooklinema.gov.[28]

Fire department[edit]

The town of Brookline is protected full-time by the 158 paid, professional firefighters of the Brookline Fire Department (BFD). It currently operates out of five fire stations located throughout the city, under the command of a Deputy Chief per shift. The BFD also operates a fire apparatus fleet of four engines, two ladders, one quint, one cross-staffed rescue (special operations), two squads, one special operations unit, one decontamination trailer, two maintenance units, as well as numerous other special, support, and reserve units. The Brookline Fire Department responds to approximately 6,500 emergency calls annually. The current Chief of Department is Paul D. Ford.[29]

Divisions[edit]

The Brookline Fire Department has four divisions of operation: Administration, Operations, Fire Prevention, and Training. The Administration Division is under the command of the Chief of Department and the Assistant Chief of Operations. The Operations Division is commanded by a Deputy Chief per shift, and includes the fire suppression units and personnel of the department, which include seven captains, 21 lieutenants, and 115 firefighters. The Fire Prevention Division falls under the jurisdiction of the Fire Marshal and includes all fire prevention, education, and investigative operations of the department. The Training Division is commanded by a Deputy Chief, a captain and a lieutenant.[30]

Fire station locations and apparatus[edit]

Below is a complete listing of all fire station company locations in the town of Brookline.[31]

The fire headquarters is at 350 Washington Street.

Additionally, Fallon Emergency Medical Services, an ALS and BLS ambulance transport company, shares two of Brookline's firehouses with paramedic and EMT-staffed ambulances.

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit Fallon EMS Unit Chief Address Neighborhood
Engine 1 Ladder 2 Rescue 1 (Special Operations), Squad 1, Special Operations Unit, Maintenance 1, Maintenance 2 C1 (Chief of Department), C2 (Deputy Chief), C3 (Assistant Chief) 140 Washington St. Brookline Village
Engine 3 Fallon EMS Ambulance 128, Fallon EMS Paramedic 10 665 Washington St. Washington Square
Quint 4 Squad 4, Decon. Trailer, Ice/Water Rescue Trailer Fallon EMS Paramedic 4 827 Boylston Street Chestnut Hill
Engine 5 Tower 1 49 Babcock St. Coolidge Corner
Engine 6 H1 (Training Deputy Chief), H2 (Training Captain) 962 Hammond St. South Brookline

Cemeteries[edit]

Notable people[edit]

References in popular culture[edit]

In film[edit]

In literature[edit]

In music[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Brookline is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 – State – County Subdivision, 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-07-03. 
  2. ^ Dudley, Dean (1871) (1871). Brookline, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury Directory for 1871; Containing a General Directory of the Residents, Town Registers, Business Directory, Map, &c., &c. Boston: Dean Dudley & Co. pp. 15–16. "The name of Brookline came, as the late Rev. Samuel Sewall (great grandson of Judge Samuel Sewall) conjectures, from one of the farms within its bounds, namely the Gates' farm, hired of Judge Sewall, which was probably called Brookline because Smelt-brook, running through it, formed the line between that and one of the neighboring farms, and this brook also separated that farm from Cambridge. Judge Sewall, in his journal, often mentions the name "Brookline" before the town was incorporated. Rev. Mr. S. also thinks it was Judge Sewall that suggested that name for the town." 
  3. ^ | <USDA.gov= >"USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map". USDA. USDA. 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  5. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21–7 through 21-09, Massachusetts Table 4. Population of Urban Places of 10,000 or more from Earliest Census to 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "2010-2012 American Community Surver 3-Year Estimates". 1: Total Population publisher=American Community Survey. 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ Packard's Corner: Once and Future City[dead link]
  18. ^ Arnold Arboretum Website[dead link]
  19. ^ John Gould Curtis, History of the Town of Brookline Massachusetts, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1933, pg.305
  20. ^ Brookline Village[dead link]
  21. ^ |Berman Jewish Databank = <jewishdatabank.org= >Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP), Berman Jewish Databank (2005). "Greater Boston 2005 Community Study". Berman Jewish Databank. Berman Jewish Databank. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Metropolises" . Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Retrieved on February 9, 2014. "162 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445 "
  23. ^ "The William Bowditch House". Retrieved September 12, 2007. 
  24. ^ "The Samuel Philbrick House". Retrieved September 12, 2007. 
  25. ^ http://www.town.brookline.ma.us/gis/maplib/neighborhoodmaps/neighborhoods-all.pdf[dead link]
  26. ^ "Brookline Town website: Neighborhood Associations". Brooklinema.gov. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  27. ^ "Public Library of Brookline website". Brooklinelibrary.org. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  28. ^ "Town Government". Brooklinema.gov. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  29. ^ http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=272&Itemid=226
  30. ^ http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=131&Itemid=385
  31. ^ http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138&Itemid=386
  32. ^ http://www.tmz.com/2013/12/09/tom-brady-gisele-bundchen-mansion-construction-photos/
  33. ^ "Yasmin Siraj". icenetwork.com. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  34. ^ |source 1 = <MAFilm.org= >"Productions made in Massachusetts". MAFilm.org. MA Film Office. Retrieved 23 February 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  35. ^ |source 1 = <MAFilm.org= >"Productions made in Massachusetts". MAFilm.org. MA Film Office. Retrieved 23 February 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  36. ^ |source 1 = < brooklinesistercity.org = >"Brookline Sister City Project: Quezalguaque". Brookline Sister City Project. Brookline Sister City Project. Retrieved 3 March 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

Further reading[edit]

  • Keith N. Morgan, Elizabeth Hope Cushing, and Roger G. Reed. Community by Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts (University of Massachusetts Press; 2012) 384 pages; Discusses Brookline as a laboratory for Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.
  • Larry Ruttman. Voices of Brookine (Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Peter E. Randall Publisher LLC, 2005). Oral history with chapters on more than 60 notable Brookline residents. Foreword by Michael Dukakis. ISBN 1-931807-39-6

External links[edit]