The triangular greenspace on Upland Road has long been informally known as “The Green.” Its official name however has always been “Philbrick Square.” A survey was held in October 2007 to determine which is more preferred: Philbrick Square or Philbrick Green.
The tally was Green: 43 and Square: 36. Here are the responses (with personal info removed):
This may be too late, but what about a compromise of Philbrick Square Green. That would maintain the original historical nomenclature and admit to the more colloquial name. If Philbrick Square Green is out of the question, I guess I will cast my vote for the formal name of Philbrick Square, thereby keeping the historical nomenclature alive, while knowing full well we'll just call it the "Green". Thanks for taking the interest in our opinions. ****** Thanks for offering people the choice to vote on this. I was surprised when the Philbrick Square sign appeared on the Green. I've lived in Brookline for almost most of my life, nearly 47 years, and the Green has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. It's the Green, not Philbrick Square or even Philbrick Green. I guess I could live with Philbrick Green if the Philbrick must be part of the name. However Philbrick Square makes no sense and everyone I know who sees that sign just scratches their head in confusion. ****** Be Square or be there. Thanks for collecting the votes. ****** Please call it the PHILBRICK GREEN. ****** I vote to keep the original name of "Philbrick Square". ****** I found the argument for Philbrick Green far more persuasive. In addition, my children have always referred to that area as The Green. For both reasons, I vote for Philbrick Green. ****** Please list me as in support of PHILBRICK SQUARE, the correct historic name for the site. ****** for philbrick square ****** I signed the petition but have changed my mind. I vote for Philbrick Square! ****** I would like to retract my signature from the petition. Being approached by a neighbor with a seemingly banal idea, I (unfortunately) did the 'neighborly thing' without thought or conviction. Now that the issue is before me for thoughtful consideration, my preference is to keep the name as is. ****** Please register my vote for Philbrick Square. ****** Green. Definitely. ****** Green - by virtue of common usage is my vote. ****** Please record my vote for Philbrick Square. ****** That's my vote: Philbrick Square. ****** I vote for PHILBRICK SQUARE. ****** Two votes for Philbrick Green! ****** My vote is to keep the traditional name (Philbrick Square) as the official name of our neighborhood pocket park for all the good reasons listed in the Highlight (and other good reasons). I think we can call the park anything we want (I tend to call it the Upland Green). that by any name we are fortunate to have such a lovely gathering spot in our very special neighborhood. ****** [My] family can't help calling it "the circle," I cast my vote for "The Square." ****** Square. Hands down. ****** Please record my vote for retaining the name Philbrick Square, the historically accurate designation of our neighborhood gathering place for picnics & caroling. [Also,] two additional comments I had. (1) Square has several meanings. An open area at the meeting of two or more streets does not have to be an equilateral quadrangle; for example Kenmore & Park Squares are triangular, as well as Times Square. (2) One or more common names for a place can be different from the official name, without causing confusion; for example The Hub (Boston), The Big Apple (New York City), or The Upland Green (Philbrick Square). ****** [We] cast two votes in favor of "Philbrick Square". The arguments for "Square" summarized in the latest newsletter are VERY compelling. This is a local historic district, the second oldest of five in the Town, created in 1983. The first stated purpose of a local historic district is: "To preserve and protect the distinctive characteristics of buildings and PLACES significant to the HISTORY of the Commonwealth and its cities and towns. Deference should be given to historic names, just as those residing in the district must maintain the exteriors of their homes, fencings, etc. in compliance with stated design requirements. The fact that this space is a triangle and not a square is unique and should be honored. If might be approppriate to carefully review old conveyances to see if there were any restrictions that might prohibit a renaming, if such has not already been done. When searching the Dedham Registry of Deeds recently we came across the term "heater-piece" in all conveyances from 1890 to 1950 concerning lot [on] Cypress Street. It turns out that "heater-piece" is what folk today call [an] "island" or "turn-around" that is triangular and resembles an old flat iron. ****** I am in favor of calling the Green the Green - not Square. ****** I vote = Green ****** We vote for retaining the name "Philbrick Square". While either one is basically okay, we like the idea of preserving the historical connection to the other squares in town that were created in the same period, as well as preserving the original name it was given - especially in the absence of any compelling reason to change it. ****** I play at the green every day and I choose GREEN. ****** I vote for Green rather than Philbrick Square. ****** With regard to this "tempest in a teapot", why not leave things as they are and apparently always have been! Philbrick Square is its historic name, and the new sign is mighty handsome. We can just continue to call it "the Green" for every day use (just as people have nicknames). Anyway, my vote is definitely for Square! ****** [Two for] Philbrick Square ****** Square ****** Philbrick Green, please! ****** I vote for The Green ****** I vote for "green" ****** I vote for Green. ****** My vote is for Philbrick Green. I have lived in our neighborhood since 1970 and all during that time I have heard it call "The Green". Philbrick Green seems a the more logical and traditional choice than Philbrick Square. ****** SQUARE ****** Green ****** square ****** SQUARE! ****** Philbrick Square is an historic name almost 100 years old in an historic neighborhood and should stay as such. Since [the] Christmas Eve sing [started] over 35 years ago I have never called it Caroling on the Green. This name was attached by either a Highlight Editor or by someone on the HSHNA board. My aunt lived [on] Upland for many decades and would be sad indeed to know of any proposed name change. A "Green" by definition is situated in the center of a town or village. Please cast my vote for Square. ****** Square please or, if you must, Square at the Green, to satisify [others]. ****** Square. ****** Square. Hopefully we count as two votes! Thanks for doing this. ****** Green. That's my vote. ****** Hi Philbrick Green is my preference. ****** I would like to register my support for the name "Philbrick Green" as most suitable. ****** [My husband] and I vote for Philbrick Green. ****** I vote Green ****** Green ****** "SQUARE" ****** I vote for Philbrick Green. ****** I vote for Square ****** I am voting to change the sign to Philbrick Green ****** [2 reidents] asked to be recorded in favor of Philbrick Green. ****** Our neighbors  also favor Green. ****** [A resident] favors Green. ****** As [an] owner occupant of [a historic house] I would like to express my strong sense that Philbrick Green is the appropriate term, not Square, and that the new sign, evidently installed without discussion or notice, be changed. thank you for your consideration. ****** [We] register our support and the reasonable compromise of Philbrick Green for the name of the Green on Upland Road. ****** well, since it's not a square and since it is green space and since we always call it "the green" in my 20 years here i vote for Philbrick Green. ****** I would like to see the Town of Brookline keep the historically accurate name of Philbrick Square. ****** Green ****** i support the name "philbrick GREEN" as we have always referred to that area as "the green" ****** We vote for Philbrick Green and will happily continue to refer to it as The Green. ****** I might have been a bit confused when submitting my original vote on this matter. Please change my vote to "green.". Also, [my husband] indicated that he would like to vote for "green" as well. Thanks ****** [Our] household members heartily wish there was no sign at all - it is an eyesore, and it seems unnecessary to have a sign planted on such a small piece of ground. Barring its removal, though, we would vote for SQUARE, if that is what is on official town maps, to avoid confusion (we'll still call it 'the green' amongst ourselves, of course). ****** The Upland Road triangular greenspace should be called Philbrick Green. "Philbrick" is the historical part of the name and this is being preserved. The "Square" portion of the original name feels more like a generic placeholder which was included by default. "Square" suggest to me something more urban -- public space including paved paths and often a fountain or monument (Sam Philbrick leading escaped slaves to Canada or Ed Philbrick burrowing through the Berkshires?) at the center. "Green" suggests something less developed and is therefore a more accurate description. Although several public spaces in Brookline are called "Square", there are exceptions such as Emerson Garden and Longwood Mall. "Green" means any public greenspace, not just the main public greenspace such as the "Town Green." For those who appreciate quirky names, if Philbrick Square is renamed to Philbrick Green, Brookline will still have a three-sided square -- St. Mark's Square. The sign at Knyvet Square reads "Knyvet Park" so perhaps a compromise is to leave the name as "Square" but change the sign to "Green."