Blake Park: Brookline, Massachusetts
History of a Neighborhood, 1916-2005

The Houses and People of Blake Park


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69 Somerset Road

Year Built:
Permit Date:
1940
8/17/1940
Architect:
Harry Ramsey
Builder:
Chestnut Hill Building Co.
Cost to Build:
$8,500
Owner
(On Permit Date):
Chestnut Hill Building Co., 1320 Beacon St.
First Residents:
Anna & Joseph Goldstein

Architect Harry Ramsey, who designed three houses in the first phase of Blake Park's development (two on Blake Road and one on Stanton Road), was also the designer of this later house.

69 Somerset was the home for more than 50 years to the family of Anna and Joseph Goldstein. Joseph Goldstein (1895-1997) was the son of Russian immigrants. His father Julius owned a shoe business, Julius Goldstein & Sons, a wholesaler and manufacturer with offices on Lincoln Street in Boston. As a teenager, according to an obituary in the Boston Herald, Joseph was a "puller" at his father's shoe store charged with "pulling" people into the shop by convincing them that they needed new shoes.

Joseph earned a degree in chemistry from Harvard but missed his commencement in 1918 because he was serving in France with the American Expeditionary Force which he had joined as a volunteer. He returned in 1919 to receive his degree and was offered a job with Standard Oil in Venezuela, according to a 1996 profile in the Harvard Crimson. But with support from his wife Anna (1897-1990), Joseph's high school sweetheart who he married after returning from France, he decided instead to join the family business. Putting his chemistry training to use, he invented a line of "Nite-Glow" slippers with glow-in-the-dark patches that made them easy to find at night.

Goldstein retired from the shoe business in 1985. In 1996, at the age of 101, he led the commencement parade at Harvard as the University's oldest living graduate. He died the following year.