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

The Houses and People of Blake Park


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58 Welland Road

Year Built:
Permit Date:
1927
9/7/1927
Architect:
A.F. Brodin
Builder:
W.J. Carlson
Cost to Build:
$13,000
Owner
(On Permit Date):
Peter Holdensen, West Roxbury
First Residents:
Peter & Minnie A. Holdensen

The first owners of this house were Peter and Minnie Holdensen. Peter Holdensen, born in Denmark c1869, was an interior decorator and designer. He came to the U.S. in 1883. In the late 1920s, he worked with a Portland hotelier to create the "Danish Village" in Scarborough, Maine, a residential hotel designed to replicate a typical Danish village with 100 cottages clustered along four principal streets. (See two Web sites about the Danish Village from the Scarborough Historical Society and a student group) for more information on this project.

Peter Holdensen and his wife Minnie (born in England c1874) had two daughters and a son. The family was listed at this address from 1928 to 1941.

Following the Holdensens in this house, after a one-year gap in the Street List, was the family of Bennett M. and Reba A. Groisser. Bennett Groisser (1891-1987) was born in Kiev and came to the U.S. in 1915. After graduating from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering, he and two partners formed the Groisser and Shlager Iron Works, a large steel fabricating company that was in business until 1963. The company according to Groisser's Boston Globe obituary, built such well-known structures as the Harvard Square kiosk roof in 1928, the Old North Church spire after it was blown down in a hurricane in the 1950s, the Hatch Shell and the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge over Storrow Drive, the Logan International Airport control tower, the Sullivan Square overpass in Charlestown, the Longfellow Bridge, and several area high schools.

Reba Groisser (1898-1982) was born in Russia and came to the U.S. as a child. A graduate of the Eliot Pearson School, now part of Tufts University, she established and directed one of the first nursery schools in Boston, a part of the Hecht House community center in Roxbury, according to her obituary in the Boston Globe. She later served as president of the Sunnyside Day Nursery School in Roxbury and on the board of directors at the Associated Day Care Services of Boston.

The Groisser family was listed at this address in the Street List from 1943 until the early 1970s.