History

Charles Petitti, former commander, stood at American Legion Post 17 in Brighton. A developer has bought the building, and has aided the veterans. (Bill Greene/ Globe Staff)

Charles Petitti, former commander, stood at American Legion Post 17 in Brighton. A developer has bought the building, and has aided the veterans. (Bill Greene/ Globe Staff)

Just after World War II, the City of Boston sold the Mary L. Brock School, a historic building on Chestnut Hill Avenue to an American Legion Post in Brighton for a symbolic fee.

For almost six decades, former soldiers and sailors gathered at Post 17 for dances and for suppers of franks and beans. But as its members aged, dues payments diminished, and the building fell into disrepair. The members could not afford to fix the structure so they decided to sell it.

Long-time prominent Muslim businessmen in the Allston-Brighton area made the veterans an offer and seized the opportunity to buy the dilapidated historic building. The veterans were relieved. The new owners set out to repair and renovate the building and convert it to a permanent home for local Muslims where they can practice their faith. By early 2009, Yusuf Mosque opened its doors for the first time to the community for prayers, lectures and socializing.

The Mosque is open for daily prayers, regular weekly lectures by outstanding scholars and academics, educational classes and other activities.