The Town Green at the intersection of Walnut and Warren streets marks the site of Brookline's first town common. The present stone Romanesque-style First Parish Church at 400 Walnut Street (1893, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, NRD) is the fourth on or near this site. Behind the church lies an attached parish hall that served originally as the first town hall, now called Pierce Hall (382 Walnut Street, NRD). Mixing Federal and Greek Revival forms for the school rooms on the ground floor and the public hall above, Thomas Waldron Sumner built the 1824 town hall of Roxbury puddingstone, an early use of this distinctive local stone. This random ashlar stone contrasts with the granite quoins and unusual Greek Revival entrance surrounds. At the same time the old common was reduced to a green space between intersecting roads.
The construction of houses for Boston merchants in the vicinity of the Town Green and Brookline Reservoir (BR30) began as early as the 1850s. Most of the large homes were built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, after 1886, when the reservoir was taken out of service. Boston businessmen built a cluster of Shingle Style and Tudor Revival houses between the old common and the reservoir. They include 30 Warren Street (NRD), commissioned by Moses William and built in 1885 by Peabody and Stearns; 37 Warren Street (NRD) by Frank Sweetser and built in 1896 by Winslow and Wetherell; 45 Warren Street (NRD) by Charles Soule and built by Hartwell and Richardson in 1896; and 49 Warren Street by Elias Bliss and built in 1896 by F. Manton Wakefield.