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Boston Apartments including Beacon Hill Homes, Apartments and Condos, Back Bay Condos, Flats, Lofts, and Cambridge Homes and Apartments.

Brookline

Brookline Apartments

Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. It borders Newton (part of Middlesex County) on the southwest and Boston (part of Suffolk County) in all other directions, so it is not contiguous with any other part of Norfolk County. As of the 2000 census, the population of the town was 57,107.

As close to Boston as Brookline is, it has managed to maintain its own identity. Brookline features a unique mixture of urban and suburban living, upscale shops and recreational parks, apartment buildings and large estates. It is the home of many academic and scientific professionals who work at the nearby medical centers in Boston. Brookline has staunchly refused to be absorbed by Boston, which surrounds it like a horseshoe. Brookline has kept its town meeting form of government since its 1705 incorporation. It also has an overnight on-street parking ban more common in suburbs farther from a central city. Among its many unusual resources, Brookline has its own working farm (with farm stand), the oldest country club in the nation, a town golf course, a park on a hillside overlooking Boston with an open air skating rink and transportation museum, as well as numerous neighborhood parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the town.

Its major retail centers, like Coolidge Corner, Brookline Village, Washington Square, Cleveland Circle and the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, there are pedestrian-oriented shopping areas with a variety of stores, restaraunts and malls. Along with offering both a city atmosphere and a feeling of being in the country, there is a wide mix of people in Brookline. The student body at Brookline High School includes students from more than 50 different countries. Many students attend Brookline High from surrounding, lower income neighborhoods in Boston, such as Mission Hill and Mattapan, via the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) system. There are 8 elementary schools in the Brookline Public School system: Baker, Devotion, Driscoll, Heath, Lawrence, Lincoln, Pierce, and Runkle schools. As of December, 2006, there were 6,089 K-12 students enrolled in The Public Schools of Brookline. The system includes one early learning center, eight grades K-8 schools and one comprehensive high school. The student body is 66.1% White, 17.7% Asian, 9.9% Black, 5.9% Hispanic and 0.4% Other. Approximately 30% of students come from homes where English is not the first language.

Although predominantly residential, Brookline is open to new commercial development, and has amended its zoning to encourage new growth along its major thoroughfares.

Brookline is known in the Boston area for its large population of Russian immigrants and numerous synagogues. Jewish culture is very strong in Brookline, and is especially notable along the section of Harvard Street that starts at Washington St (Brookline Village) runs through Beacon Street (Coolidge Corner) and ends at Commonwealth Avenue, continuing into Allston-Brighton. This neighborhood is home to at least 3 area synagogues including the first Jewish congregation in Massachussets (Ohabei Shalom, founded in Boston in 1842 and located in Brookline since the 1920s) and a number of Jewish-themed restaurants and stores.

Brookline is also known for its excellent schools, which are supported in large part by property taxes — the town has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country.

While residents of Brookline tend toward liberal ideals, economic and cultural factors keep this section of the Boston metropolitan area less diverse than its neighbor across the Charles River, Cambridge. It’s also worth noting that Brookline’s liberalism and diversity are relatively new developments in the town’s history. In the 19th century Brookline, which has been called “the richest town in America”, was a sanctuary for the wealthy where Boston’s elites built their summer homes. The legacy of privilege is still visible, with Brookline existing as a deliberately engineered exclave of Norfolk County surrounded on three sides by metropolitan Boston but never incorporated into the city, a measure designed to keep out the Irish and other ethnic immigrants.