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Brighton Avenue


Brighton Ave runs from Union Square on the west to Commonwealth Ave to the East.  Brighton Avenue (and North Beacon Street) were originally built by the Roxbury Mill Corporation in 1822 to connect the Mill Dam Road (Beacon Street), a causeway that crossed the still unfilled Back Bay, with Watertown. This road was given the name Avenue Street in 1840; Beacon Street in 1846; North Beacon Street in 1860 and in 1885 the current name of Brighton Ave.


1875 Map of Brighton Ave, then called North Beacon St, with Union Square on the left and Harvard Ave to the left of center.  One can see how undeveloped this area was then.  Two small ponds and a stream are located below North Beacon St on the right.

On this 1885 map, the street now has the current name of Brighton Ave.

This 1909 map of Brighton Ave, the areas east of Harvard Ave (on the left) shows the beginning of development brought on after the trolley line was built


View of Brighton Ave from Union Square (Brighton Ave Baptist Church on the left) in the early 1900s with more residential property compared to today

Brighton Ave from Union Square 1910.  Notice the residential buildings on the left that are on the 1885 map above

Looking towards Union Square 1940

This 1963 Boston Globe article that references the Chrysler Plymouth dealer at 177 Brighton Ave (opposite Quint Ave).  This dealership was replaced by current strip mall in the late 1970s

Jesse Tirrell house.  This house was near the intersection with Harvard Ave

1906 map (bottom center) showing the Jesse Tirrell house pictured above at 173 Brighton Ave with Harvard Ave on the right.

c1950 Moskos Restaurant at 161 Brighton Ave which closed in 1969.  Across the street was a more informal, cafeteria version of Moskos

1941 looking east towards Harvard Ave

1949 at the intersection with Harvard Ave with the original Brighton Cooperative Bank on the corner on the right.  This bank added a branch in Brighton Center and then closed in 1976 after being bought.

1938 Harvard Ave intersection

c1920 at the Harvard Ave intersection with a Policeman directing traffic before traffic lights.  Note the Allston Theatre on the right

Allston Theatre in 1913 at 128 Brighton Avenue near the southeast corner of Harvard Avenue just before the Grand Opening on October 24. The Allston Theatre, a handsome Renaissance Revival style building, was intended originally for stage performances, but was eventually converted into a motion picture house. An important local landmark, emblematic of the upscale character of the South Allston neighborhood in the early years of the 20th century, the theater was demolished in 1965

Brighton and Harvard Ave.  The second floor of the building in the center once housed a Boston Public Library branch

Brighton and Harvard Ave

1925.  Looking east past Harvard Ave.  Note the Allston Theatre at the center and residential houses on the left before commercial development.

T stop at Harvard Ave 1920 looking east

Track construction at Harvard Ave c1940s

From Linden St looking west c1916.  The trolley to the left of center would be at Harvard Ave. Note the open space before commercial development as shown on the 1909 map above

1960s photo with a similar view as the above 1916 photo.  The building on the right with the Golden Dragon restaurant is the same building in the 1916 photo above.

89 Brighton Ave 1949

1940s near Chester St.  The raised tracks were later lowered to street level to alleviate auto traffic

1907 Receipt from Victoria Stables on Brighton Ave east of Chester St.  It's the yellow building on the bottom right on the 1909 map above

Packard's Stables which were on Brighton Ave diagonally opposite the Victoria Stables.  Packards Corner at the intersection of Brighton Ave and Commonwealth Ave was named after the owner of these stables

St Luke's Church c1910 at the corner of Brighton Ave and St Luke's Rd.  The church was built in 1895 and founded by Bishop Philip Brooks who is the author of the Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem

1916 This addition to St Luke's was built to the right of the above structures and closer to Brighton Ave.

St Luke's Interior 2008 (courtesy Allston/Brighton Tab)

Photo looking west from near Malvern St and Commonwealth Ave c1940

  1. "Allston-Brighton in Transition From Cattle Town to Streetcar Suburb", Dr. William P. Marchione, The History Press
  2. "Allston-Brighton", William P. Marchione, Ph.D, Arcadia Publishing
  3. "The Bull In The Garden A History of Allston-Brighton", William P. Marchione, Boston Public Library
  4. Harvard Ave
  5. Brighton Center
  6. Brighton Allston Streetcar History
  7. Allston Brighton Theatres
  8. Stan Babcock Interview on Allston
  9. St Luke's Church