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Winthrop Square (Minot Rose Garden)

Category: Neighborhood Park
Size: 1.93 acres
Protection: Article 97
Manager: Brookline DPW, Parks and Open Space Division
Location: St. Paul Street
Precinct: 2
Inventory Date: 10/13/04, revised 3/1/11
Vicinity: Surrounded by single-family houses, town houses and apartment buildings.

This park has a courtyard feel with three sides lined by brick apartment buildings and a clearly defined perimeter fence. There are two sections to the park, one open area and one area with playground equipment, benches, and the Minot Rose Garden with raised flower beds and arbor. Mature trees, primarily maples and oaks, unify its character. The rose garden, raised flower beds, and trellis are additional character-defining elements.

Park History:
Winthrop Square/Minot Rose Garden was acquired by the Town in four parts. The Winthrop Square property was part of four parcels of open space parks that were the brainchild of David Sears. The Minot Rose Garden section of this park contains an arbor that had been part of the Larz Anderson estate. The park was improved in 1965 with tot equipment. Renovations in 1984 included a spray pool, new play equipment, a renovated field with irrigation system, new swing, drinking fountain, and rose garden irrigation. In 1994, benches, play structures, lighting, and landscaping were added. The Town replaced the older children's wooden play structure in 2002. The rose garden was replanted and restored in 2005 with generous assistance from the Friends of the Minot Rose Garden. A decorative, ornamental metal fence was added in 2008 to finish the rose garden and protect the roses, thanks in part to a grant from the Brookline Community Foundation. In 2011, comprehensive renovations to Winthrop were completed, including replacement of the younger children’s play structure, planting improvements including addition of the next generation of oaks and other landscaping, new site furniture, paved pathways and circulation improvements, and fence and gate repairs.

The Town acquired 46,470 square feet of the property from Francis Shaw, an-heir of David Sears, in 1902 under the condition that it "shall be laid public parks...and shall never be used for the purpose of a playground, as distinguished from a public park." The Town purchased another 10,816 square feet from Robert and Anne Warner in 1909 "to be maintained as a public playground, in accordance with the provisions of Section 19 of Chapter 28 of the Revised Laws." Another 19,991square feet was transferred from Edward P. Shaw et al in 1906 "to be maintained as public playground." This information was located in the 1960 deed research and is confirmed by the land plans. It was not located during the 2003 research.


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