St. Marys Church in Brookline Village was the first Catholic Church established in Brookline. Irish immigrants originally settled in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, and mostly worked in industrial occupations including for the railroad companies. The migration of Irish to Brookline was, in part, due to the opening of the Brookline branch of the Boston and Worcester Railroad, on which many Irish were employed as construction workers. Many settled in workers housing on the periphery of what is today Brookline Village. Many Irish families started congregating at the Lyceum Hall in Brookline as a Catholic meeting space. After the Civil War, land was purchased on Harvard Street for the erection of a church by the Catholic Diocese. Renowned architects Peabody & Stearns were selected to design a church.
Completed in 1886, the Victorian Gothic church is constructed of red brick with Longmeadow brownstone trim. Gothic lancet windows and arches adorn the building, which has prominent facades on both Harvard and Linden Streets. Directly to the right of the church, a rectory was built to provide a residence for the Rector. The 3 1/2-story rectory was also designed by Peabody & Stearns and is stylistically similar to the church next door. A school and convent were later added to complete the large campus.