Brookline: A Vibrant Neighborhood in Pittsburgh
Located in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Brookline is a warm, welcoming community that offers a blend of city convenience with suburban tranquility. With a rich history and an engaging atmosphere, Brookline has evolved into a bustling neighborhood that many families call home.
Brookline at a Glance
One can easily commute to downtown Pittsburgh through the Liberty Tunnels and up West Liberty Avenue. The 39-Brookline PAT bus and the southern light rail system also connect Brookline to downtown Pittsburgh, making it a convenient residential area for those who work in the city center.
With its second-largest area and third-largest population among Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, it is home to over 13,000 residents. The majority of the residents are White, with a growing Latino community. Over the years, it has evolved into a diverse community, welcoming families of different races and backgrounds.
Brookline Boulevard, the heart of the neighborhood, is a bustling commercial hub filled with shops, banks, markets, and restaurants. Many businesses are family-owned, some operating for generations. From barbershops to realtors, the boulevard offers the conveniences of a self-contained community. Brookline residents can access their own branch of the Carnegie Library, making the boulevard a friendly hub where neighbors interact and newcomers are welcomed.
A Stroll Through History
The area of Brookline was initially a part of the larger West Liberty Borough before it was incorporated into Pittsburgh in 1908. During its early history, it was primarily inhabited by miners and farmers. As the mining industry declined, the area transitioned into farmland.
The Dawn of the 20th Century
The onset of the 20th century brought significant technological advancements to the South Hills of Pittsburgh, which included Brookline. The transportation of coal from the area led to the installation of lines by the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon Railroad Co. This development necessitated a tunnel from downtown Pittsburgh through Mt. Washington, exiting right above South Hills Junction.
The advent of automobiles spurred the construction of the Liberty Tunnel, connecting the neighborhood to the rest of Pittsburgh and fueling a boom in the South Hills areas.
In 1905, Brookline was connected to downtown Pittsburgh via a streetcar line by Pittsburgh Railways. The 39 Brookline service, which ceased in 1966, played a crucial role in the development and accessibility of the neighborhood.
The Brookline Community
This vibrant Pittsburgh Neighborhood is more than just a collection of houses; it’s a community where residents care for each other. It is a place where neighbors share a genuine interest in the neighborhood’s vitality and contribute thousands of volunteer hours each year to various civic projects.
Brookline hosts annual Halloween and Memorial Day parades, the Brookline Breeze 5K Fitness Run/Walk, and a Christmas celebration featuring elaborate street decorations. The neighborhood also houses Kennywood Park, a popular amusement park just a 30-minute drive east.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, Brookline offers ample recreational activities. Moore Park and Brookline Memorial Park provide facilities for various sports, including baseball, football, soccer, basketball, boxing, tennis, and swimming. There are also trails for jogging and hiking, and areas for picnics.
The Brookline Teen Outreach Center, located on the boulevard, offers a welcoming space for youngsters to hang out and engage in community activities.
Brookline is part of the Pittsburgh Public School District, housing elementary and middle schools for neighborhood children. Secondary education institutions, including Brashear and Carrick High Schools, are located just a few minutes away.
For a parochial education, students can attend the nearby St. Ann’s School in Castle Shannon or Seton-LaSalle High School in Mount Lebanon. Special education facilities are also available at the Pioneer School.
Brookline: A Mix of City and Suburb
Brookline offers suburban tranquility with city convenience. Its proximity to downtown Pittsburgh and the availability of excellent senior citizen facilities make it a favored residential area for all age groups.
The vibrant Brookline Boulevard, with its array of shops and services, bustles with activity, creating a friendly hub where neighbors meet, chat, and feel welcomed.
Brookline’s homes are predominantly single-family residences that reflect the modest beginnings of the neighborhood. The median home value has gradually increased over the years, indicating the neighborhood’s growing appeal.
The neighborhood’s economic stability is evident in its low poverty rate and increasing median income. While there are disparities in poverty rates among different racial groups, Brookline stands out as one of the few areas where the Black median income is higher than the White median income. This suggests that a small number of middle-income Black households are finding Brookline an attractive place to live.
The Brookline community is active in outreach programs. The Brookline Teen Outreach Center is a youth community outreach center that offers a variety of free programming, a safe space, and activities for teens aged 10-18.
Brookline’s future looks promising with its steady growth, low poverty rate, and increasing diversity. Efforts are underway to make the neighborhood a welcoming place for all races and income levels. The community is working towards educating one another about the benefits of diversity and the consequences of racial and economic segregation.
With its rich history, vibrant community, and convenient location, is an ideal place to call home. It offers a unique blend of city living with a suburban feel, making it a desirable neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The community’s dedication to maintaining the neighborhood’s vitality, the array of amenities, and the welcoming atmosphere make Brookline a place where residents are not just buying a house, but a home.