When Beacon Street was laid out in 1850-51, it was a narrow county road designed to open up north Brookline to development and to provide access to Boston for businessmen who chose to live outside the city. Its dramatic transformation into a wide boulevard lined by apartment blocks and stores came forty years later. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner John C. Olmsted in 1886, Beacon Street was expanded to include a mass transit system that was the second electric trolley line in the country and the oldest still in continuous operation. This transformation brought about the elimination of virtually all of the farms and single family homes, but gave Brookline one of the most attractive thoroughfares in the Boston area.
Courtesy of Brookline Historic Society and Brookline Preservation Commission