Blake Park: Brookline, Massachusetts
History of a Neighborhood, 1916-2005

The Houses and People of Blake Park


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49 Blake Road
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50 Blake Road

Year Built:
Permit Date:
1931
4/28/1931, 9/23/1931
Architect:
Royal Barry Wills
Builder:
Maurice Dunlavy
Cost to Build:
$10,000
Owner
(On Permit Date):
Maurice Dunlavy
First Residents:
John R. and Lynd Kansas

50 Blake Road was one of five houses on the street designed by Royal Barry Wills and built by Maurice Dunlavy. It is the only one of the five on the north side of the street.

The first residents of the house, John and Lynd Kansas, lived in New York before moving into this house. There was no age or occupation listed for them in the Street List for the two years they were on Blake Road.

The next residents, appearing in the Street List from 1935 to 1940, were Samuel and Helen Slosberg and their family. Samuel L. Slosberg was an executive with the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company of Boston, co-founded by his father Jacob. Green Shoe was the maker of the Stride Rite brand of shoes. (The company name was changed to Stride Rite in 1966.) Sam Slosberg became chairman of the company after his father's death. He also served as head of the War Production Board’s shoe division during World War II. He died in 1982.

Helen Slosberg, who studied painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, was active as a patron of the arts. She was the founder of the Brookline Chamber Music Society and a founder of the Cambridge Society for Early Music. She died in 1985.

The identity of the next residents of this house is a little unclear. Morris and Beth Rostan are listed in the Street List from 1941 to 1963, although the last name is spelled three different ways -- Rostan, Roston, Rostau -- in different years. Morris is listed at different times as a manager and a salesman. Living with them was Lester Sneirson (through 1945) and his mother Sarah Sneierson (note different spelling). Lester Sneirson was the co-owner with his brother of the Able Building Wrecking & Supply Co. of Waltham. He served as a rigger at the Watertown Arsenal. He died in 2000. Beth Rostan may have been Lester Sneirson's sister.