stretch of today's Blake Road, the section between Tappan Street
and Sumner Road (outside the bounds of Blake Park), became a Brookline
street in 1892. The original Blake Park development in 1916 extended
this street across Tappan Street. The section from Tappan to where
Blake and Somerset intersect today was called Blake Road West.
The section from there to Gardner Road was called Gardner
Place. There was also a Blake Road East, which today
is Weybridge Road and the part of Somerset Road between Weybridge
and Welland. (See the 1921 plan below.)
It may be that the intention was to eventually link the two parts
of Blake Road across the land retained by the Blake family in
1916 (as did eventually happen, although with changes
to the names of the streets).
Name Origin: Blake Road is named, no doubt, after
the Blake family.
Road: Gardner Road, a small portion of which marks
the northern border of Blake Park, was created in the 1880s as
part of the Aspinwall Hill development. See the Aspinwall
Hill Neighborhood Association page on the Town of Brookline
Web site for more information on Gardner Road and the portion
of the hill above Blake Park.
Name Origin: Gardner Road is thought to be named
for William Aspinwall's great-grandfather Isaac Gardner.
Street: Greenough Street, which marks the southern
edge of Blake Park at the bottom of Aspinwall Hill, was laid out
in three stages. The first section, from Tappan Street to Davis
Avenue -- it runs in front of Brookline High School today -- was
laid out as Gorham Avenue in 1871. Three years later,
Gorham was extended a little further toward Washington Street
then turned sharply and extended to Cypress Street, making Gorham
an L-shaped street, as shown in the 1874 atlas map below.
Greenough Street from Washington Street to Cypress Place (now
Stanton Road) was laid out as a private road by the Blakes in
the mid-1890s, across the properties marked S.D. Bennett on the
map. The last section, connecting this part of Greenough to Gorham,
was laid out in 1899. The original section of Gorham Road was
redesignated as part of Greenough Street in 1918.
Name Origin: Greenough is presumably named for
the family of Frances Greenough Blake.
Road was called Winthrop Circle when first laid out by
the P.H Trust in 1916. (It's across Gardner Road from Winthrop
Road.) The Inter-City Trust kept the name (see the 1921 plan under
Blake Road, above), but it had been changed to Hancock Road by
the time the first house was built there in 1927. (A small section
of the street, between Gardner Road and the steps of Gardner Path,
was laid out with the Path in 1886 and later incorporated with
the new road.)
Name Origin: Hancock Road was presumably named
for John Hancock. (A house just outside Blake Park, at 432 Washington
Street, is a replica of Hancock's Beacon Hill mansion, which was
torn down in 1863.)
Road was laid out near the bottom of the hill where the Blake
stables and other outbuildings were located. Some of these buildings
can be seen in the 1919 atlas map below, between
the new road and the houses on Greenough Street. Two of these
buildings -- it's not clear which -- were moved to Greenough Street
around 1921 and converted to be used as residences. They are still
there today. (See 53 Greenough Street
and 55-57 Greenough Street.)
The two houses farthest to the right on the map
are today's 8-10 and 12-14 Lowell Road. They remained Blake property
until after Frances Blake's death in 1939. From at least 1910
they were home to various Blake family employees at different
times (among them a butler, a coachman, and a chauffeur) as well
as relatives of the Blakes. Their addresses were shown in the
street list as "off Greenough Street" and then "Greenough
Street within" until 1922 when they were first listed as
Lowell Street. (See 8-10 Lowell Road
and 12-14 Lowell Road for more.)
Lowell initially ran from Tappan Street (at the
left edge of the map) to Greenough Street North (previously called
Cypress Place and now Stanton Road.) The Tappan end, which seems
to have been a pathway from Tappan to the stables before Blake
Park was developed, was eliminated after land was given to the
Town of Brookline for an extension to the high school in 1919.
Lowell Road then assumed its present L-shaped configuration, running
from Greenough Street to Stanton Road. (See the 1921 plan higher
up on this page.)
Name Origin: It's uncertain where the name Lowell
Road comes from, though the Lowells -- including poet Amy Lowell
and Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell -- were a prominent family
Road evolved, in large part, from the main pathway leading into
the Blake Estate. The path, which wound up the hill from Washington
Street to the Blake house, was expanded and designated Blake
Road East when the property was first developed in 1916.
At the same time, another path, connecting Blake Road East to
Greenough Street, was turned into Stanton Road (not today's
Stanton Road). By 1921 Stanton had been renamed Somerset, and
by 1925 Blake Road East had also been renamed: the lower part
became Weybridge Road, and the upper part became part of Somerset.
(Compare the original pathway, shown as a thin and faint double
line in the 1888 map at left, below, with Blake Road East in the
1921 plan to its right.)
Somerset Road ended at Welland Road when the first houses were
built in the 1920s. It was extended across Welland, connecting
to Blake Road, in 1939 after the death of Frances Blake and the
development of the six acres she had retained.
Name Origin: The origin of the name Somerset
Road is unclear, although two possibilities suggest themselves.
It most likely comes from Somerset, England, from whence the Blakes'
ancestors first came to the New World in 1630. There is also a
Somerset, Vermont, not far from where George Baty Blake grew up,
although I have not found any direct connection between this Somerset
and the Blakes.
oldest section of Stanton Road, starting at Cypress Street and
extending to where Greenough Street is today, appeared in town
atlases as Cypress Place as early as 1874. It was apparently
a private road with several houses on it until 1903, when it became
an official town street. A pathway extended from the end of the
street into the Blake Estate as early as 1880, moving up the hill
to meet the main pathway just below the Blake House. The street
was extended along this path when the Blake property was developed,
first as an extension of Cypress Place, then briefly renamed on
its own as Greenough Street North. Cypress Place and
Greenough Street North were together renamed Stanton Road in 1926.
Name Origin: Stanton was a common family name
among the Blakes. Arthur Blake's older brother was called Stanton,
which was actually his middle name.
Street, running from Cypress Street along the edge of Aspinwall
Hill to Beacon Street, was laid out in 1860. A small area (two
houses) on the east side of Tappan was included in the development
of Blake Park.
Name Origin: Tappan Street was named for Lewis
Tappan, a merchant and prominent abolitionist who built the house
on Aspinwall Hill that later became the Blake House.
Street: Washington Street, which forms the eastern
edge of Blake Park, is one of the oldest streets in Brookline.
It was known for a long time simply as "the Brighton road,"
leading to the neighboring town of that name (now part of Boston).
It officially became Washington Street in 1846.
Name Origin: Like most Washington Streets in
the area and elsewhere in the country, Washington Street is, no
doubt, named for George Washington.
Road, which cuts roughly across the center of the old Blake Estate,
was laid out by the P.H. Trust in 1916. About half of the north
side of this street remained part of Frances Blake's property
until after her death in 1939 when it too was developed. The Blake
House address, which been 450 Washington Street until 1916, became
45 Welland Road at that time.
Name Origin: Welland is another common name in
the Blake family. It was Arthur Blake's middle name, as well as
that of his grandfather John Welland Blake.
Road, as described in the entry on Somerset Road, above, was originally
part of Blake Road East, evolving from main pathway into the Blake
Estate from Washington Street. It had been renamed by 1925.
Name Origin: The origin of the name Weybridge
Road (and Weybridge Lane) is unknown. There is a Weybridge, Vermont
about 100 miles northwest of Brattleboro. When Arthur Blake's
grandfather John Welland Blake was Brattleboro postmaster from
1792 to 1793, Weybridge may have been part of his district, but
I have not been able to find a closer connection. There is also
a Weybridge, England, close to London, but I have not found a
connection to the Blake family.
Lane, which runs off of Weybridge Road with an offshoot connecting
it to the end of Hancock Road, was originally called Blake Circle.
It remains a private road today, unlike Blake, Hancock, Lowell,
Somerset, Stanton, Welland, and Weybridge Road, all of which were
developed as private streets but became town streets in 1927 and
Name Origin: See Weybridge Road, above.