Located in the heart of Brookline Village, the Pierce School was named after John Pierce, noted pastor of the Walnut Street church during the mid 19th century. His wife, Lucy, was an active leader in the abolition movement in Brookline.
The original four-classroom Pierce School was built in 1855 at a cost of $15,000. Still used as part of the old Pierce Building, it is the oldest school building still in use in the town. For a glimpse into the past of this historic structure, stand in the passageway between the old and new buildings and look up: you'll see a plaque that says "Built 1855" and get a taste of the nearly 150-year old original Pierce architecture.
A second building, designed by local architect J.A. Schweinfurth and torn down in the 1970s, opened along School Street in 1901. Three years later, the same architect designed an eight-room addition to the original building, at a cost of $80,000. This addition, looking out on the drop-off circle and the Town Hall parking lot, now makes up the main part of the old Pierce building housing kindergarten, 7/8, and PSED rooms.
The latest addition to the Pierce School opened in 1974, in a new building "about as different from the one room red schoolhouse," reported the Boston Globe, "as modern architecture can make it." Built at a cost of $6 million, it is centered around a two-story library or resource center, with an open space plan which encourages collaborative teaching and which has proven to be an effective learning environment for an innovative, challenging academic program.
Today, after nearly a century and a half as a Brookline school, Pierce serves as a resource for and a reflection of the diverse community living in the Brookline Village area, and the school enjoys a strong partnership with parents and citizens.