In 1880, banker Arthur Welland Blake engaged Frederick Law Olmsted to draw plans for the subdivision of the Blake family estate on Aspinwall Hill. Olmsted and his firm drew numerous plans for the Blakes over the next 15 years, but they were never executed. The estate remained something of an anomaly: a large tract of open land, renowned for its landscaping, in the heart of a community rapidly developing as a “streetcar suburb.” It wasn’t until 1916 that the land was sold, roads were laid out—somewhat differently than Olmsted had envisioned them—and the development of “Blake Park” was announced with some fanfare. Death and financial scandal delayed development for another decade. Finally, in 1925, with both Blake and Olmsted long dead, a new neighborhood began to emerge, populated by the families of bankers and brokers, doctors and lawyers, salesman, college professors, contractors, and local merchants. This 90-minute walking tour will tell the story of the land, the buildings, and the people of this part of Brookline as it was transformed from a private estate to a residential neighborhood that remains largely as it was when first built. As an added bonus, participants will also be given a one-year membership to the Brookline Historical Society which includes the Society’s semi-annual newsletter, advanced notice of programs, and an invitation to an annual members-only program.

Instructor: Ken Liss
Dates: 9/17/2017 – 9/17/2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Tuition: $10.00
Location: Brookline High School, Room: Posted on site, 115 Greenough Street Brookline, MA 02445
rain date: September 24

Register for the class here.