Coolidge Corner has been welcoming shoppers for more than 150 years. The neighborhood takes its name — originally Coolidge’s Corner — from the Coolidge & Brother store that opened at the corner of Harvard and Beacon Streets in 1857. A grocery and a general store, it was the only commercial business in north Brookline for more than 30 years.
All that changed with the widening of Beacon Street and the coming of the electric streetcar in 1887-88. The landmark S.S. Pierce building that opened in 1898 on the site of the original Coolidge & Brother store was one of many businesses to open in the decade after the widening.
A major new shopping district took root in the growing neighborhood over the next few decades, serving shoppers from near and far. Businesses have continued to change with the times, but Coolidge Corner — where almost all of commercial establishments are in the original buildings constructed between 1890 and 1930 — has continued to thrive.
Description and photo courtesy of the Brookline Historical Society, http://brooklinehistoricalsociety.org