This series was reported by Stephanie Ebbert, Mark Arsenault, Andrew Brinker, Diti Kohli, and Rebecca Ostriker, and edited by Patricia Wen and Tim Logan. Today’s story was reported and written by Stephanie Ebbert.
Published November 8, 2023
Fourth in a series: BROOKLINE
Brookline has always considered itself special. And, in many ways, it is. Originally a rural retreat for Massachusetts’ ruling class, the town sprang to life when a Gilded Age speculator brought a trolley line to Beacon Street and invited famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to transform what had been a country lane into a fashionable boulevard.
Then as now, convenient transit was a draw. Brownstones and apartment buildings rose up to accommodate early commuters, and generations of young professionals followed. With three branches of the Green Line, Brookline became a streetcar suburb like no other, providing easy proximity to the region’s top colleges, hospitals, and the Financial District.