S.S. Pierce Store // 1898

If you have ever been to Coolidge Corner in Brookline, you have had the pleasure of gawking at one of the most beautiful buildings in the town, the S.S. Pierce Store at the corner of Beacon and Harvard Streets. This major Brookline landmark was built in 1898-99 for an S.S. Pierce Store. S. S. Pierce was originally founded in Downtown Boston before locating on Copley Square, to a building which is no longer standing. When it opened in 1898, the S.S. Pierce Store at Coolidge Corner sold imported goods from all over the world, as well as local provisions from Boston area farmers and artisans. The company, effectively a high-end grocery store, even provided free delivery to customers, way before Amazon provided that service!

Architects Winslow and Wetherell of Boston designed the Tudor Revival building with its iconic corner tower with clock, steep slate roof, and cross timbering with stucco siding. The original building featured an opening under the tower’s roof for people to stand and observe the street, sadly, it was damaged in the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944, and was rebuilt without that belvedere.

Circa 1910 image of SS Pierce Building courtesy of Historic New England. Note the balcony at the corner tower.

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