The development of the Coolidge Corner neighborhood plays an important part in the history of Brookline’s growth from a sleepy farm borough to a thriving suburb and independent-minded town.
In 1857, among the summer estates and farmlands, David S. Coolidge and William J. Griggs established the “Coolidge and Brother” general store at the corner of Beacon and Harvard Streets, at that time a stop on the coach line to and from Boston.
In 1886, with the advent of the street car, local tycoon Henry M. Whitney hired Frederick Law Olmstead to widen Beacon Street into a boulevard. The following year, the first elevated street car ran up Beacon Street, and subsequently area property values skyrocketed. Land was subdivided for one and two-family homes, apartment buildings were constructed along the “model French boulevard,” and new business structures, including the S.S. Pierce Building (1898), went up near “Coolidge’s Corner”.