Post-War Browncroft to the Present Day BNA

Post-War Browncroft

The Browncroft area saw many changes in the 1940’s, especially after the war. The street car lines that had serviced the area were discontinued in 1940 and replaced with buses. The car tracks were torn up on Winton Road and Blossom Road and the streets rebuilt.

During the late 1940’s and 1950’s residential construction in the area was largely completed. A number of homes were built along Newcastle Road and in areas to the north and east of Elmcroft Road and Monticello Drive. The Bobrich Apartments were built on Blossom Road on the site of what was formerly the Morrill Farm.

In the 1960’s the Seabreeze Expressway (now 590) sliced Browncroft into two major parts. Palmer’s Glen west of the expressway was filled in, as was other land along Tryon Park, when small streams were rerouted underground. The "Can of Worms" covered the old subway and canal routes, and cut across other historically significant areas such as Tolan’s Woods.

In 1963 a fire at #46 School damaged the auditorium. By 1966 the auditorium was rebuilt and more classrooms added.

In the late 1960’s Gaslight Lane, off Blossom Road, was subdivided, and new houses were built there. In 1967 the Brighton Branch Library, which had been located on Winton Road between East Avenue and University Avenue in the old Brighton School #1 building, was moved to a new structure at the corner of Winton Road and Atlantic Avenue and became the Winton Road Branch Library.

The Browncroft Neighborhood Associations

In 1946 Browncroft property owners formed an organization to oppose the building of low cost postwar housing on the site of the old Browncroft Duck Pond in the Dorchester, Ramsey, Corwin, Winton Road block. Its officers were John F. O’Brien, President; Frederic S. Grover, Vice President; A. Goul Hatch, Secretary; and Vilas M. Swan, Treasurer. The organization succeeded in defeating a proposal for the construction of 20 houses at a cost of $4,500 each. It also succeeded in preventing the establishment of a small shopping plaza on Blossom Road where the Blossom Nursing Home is now situated. Eventually the organization declined. (16)

The catalyst for the formation of the present Browncroft Neighborhood Association in 1973 was the issue of truck traffic on Browncroft Boulevard and Merchants Road. The residents saw the need to remain organized to help preserve the quality of life in the Browncroft Neighborhood. By-laws were drafted, and the Browncroft Neighborhood Association (initially called the Browncroft-Merchants Neighborhood Association has been the principal force in the restoration and improvement of the Rose Garden at the intersection of Browncroft Boulevard and Merchants Road, and in the establishment of a small park at the corner of Winton Road and Merchants Road. It has dealt with traffic and zoning matters and has sponsored lectures on matters of community interest and concern. Other activities have included holiday buffets, picnics, band concerts, parades, area-wide garage sales and a food cooperative. To keep its members informed on matters of area interest, it prepares and distributes a newsletter six times a year to 700 households. Present Browncroft Neighborhood Association paid membership is approximately 500.