Coolidge Corner is a neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts, centered on the intersection of Beacon Street and Harvard Street. The neighborhood takes its name from the Coolidge brothers' general store that opened in 1857 at that intersection at the site of today's S.S. Pierce building and that was for many years the only commercial business in north Brookline.
Coolidge Corner developed as a transit-oriented streetcar suburb, and retains a pedestrian-friendly, walkable feel. Many popular coffee shops, pharmacies, small independent boutiques, an independent bookstore, and ethnic restaurants are located there, as well as a few retail chain stores. In recent years, an influx of national bank chains has taken over several prime storefronts, detracting from the traditional neighborhood retail mix. There is a growing community backlash against this trend.
The neighborhood has a significant Jewish population, and there are large synagogues located on both Beacon and Harvard streets. The northern portion of Harvard Street, near the border with the Boston neighborhood of Allston, is characterized by a cluster of Jewish-oriented shops and various other stores and eateries.
A family-friendly neighborhood, Coolidge Corner is also home to an elementary school, Devotion.
Coolidge Corner is also home of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, a restored Art Deco movie palace that has been showing movies since 1933. It is a not-for-profit arts institution, featuring first run arthouse films, including independent films, international cinema, and documentaries. It is one of the last remaining original big screen movie houses in the country. The main theatre has a recessed theatrical stage, and seats 700 with classic elegance and cinematic style.
The S.S. Pierce Building, constructed in 1897, and originally an S.S. Pierce grocery store, is a historically significant Tudor-style building. It has accommodated a number of businesses over the years (currently it houses a Walgreens and a Radio Shack, in addition to several offices on the second floor), and is recognizable by its large clock tower, visible from nearly all points in Coolidge Corner.
Coolidge Corner contains several restaurants, including a créperie, a falafel joint, and several Asian food restaurants. A wide variety of events, including author readings, family game nights and seasonal sidewalks sales, are regularly hosted by members of the Coolidge Corner Merchants' Association. Coolidge Corner is also home to Irving's Toy and Card Shop, a popular store run by the 97 year-old (as of 2012) Ethel Weiss, who founded "Irving's" along with her husband in 1939.
Coolidge Corner also hosts a popular weekly farmer's market on Thursdays from June through October.
Coolidge Corner is served by the Coolidge Corner station of the MBTA's Green Line "C" Branch, which runs along Beacon Street. The 66 MBTA bus route runs through Coolidge Corner along Harvard Street on its way from Dudley to Harvard Square.
- Olson Pehlke, Linda: "Coolidge Corner", Our Town Brookline magazine, 2005. URL retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Liss, Ken (Brookline Historical Society), Who is Coolidge Corner named after?, November 2010. URL retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Coolidge Corner Theatre
- Betty, Mod (March 21, 2012). "Irving’s Toy Store Brookline MA – At 97 Ethel Weiss Still Going Strong!". Retro Roadmap. Retrieved 23 February 2013.