|Chicago Street Paver Bricks - These have been saved from street resurfacing projects.|
|Original surface uncovered Trolley Tracks and Setts (see below) around the heavily used tracks.|
|Chicago Street Paver Bricks uncovered.|
Street Pavers were much denser than the common bricks used for buildings, although some multi-unit properties use the Street Pavers for the front facade of the building. When the Street Pavers became worn under heavy traffic or damaged in some way, they were individually dug-up and flipped over, putting the previous underside on top which gave the repair a like-new quality.
|The rear of 1363 N. Bosworth, Chicago, Illinois. The utterly plain backside is done in Chicago common brick.|
Then Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 and the newly established Environmental Protection Agency required the Illinois Brick Company to bring their kilns and processing facilities into compliance with new regulations. This would have cost the Illinois Brick Company millions of dollars so, rather than complying, they decided to shut down brick manufacturing operations.
For people that insist Chicago used cobblestone on the streets, contact the experts at:
Colonial Brick Company at 2222 S. Halsted, Chicago.
"Specializing in Chicago Antique Brick since 1968."
They will verify that Chicago did not use cobblestone for street paving. They were Chicago Street Paver Bricks. They reclaim, clean, and resell Chicago Street Paver Bricks for commercial use.
Learn about Chicago Belgian woodblock paving.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
The setts came from Wales. They were used as ballast on ships that were coming here to pick up lumber.ReplyDelete
In 2004 I scavenged a sett with the help of a streets and sanitation worker who was one of a crew that had spent weeks digging a huge holes up and down Clark Street as part of an upgrade. These setts were about a foot beneath the layers of asphalt or cement or whatever was troweled on year after year. So at Clark and Wrightwood, I call down to this guy and ask him to pass me a good looking one. He lifted up a beauty and I almost fell into the hole with him because It weighed more than I expected. It is a great door stop!
In Bridgeport, under the Canal Street viaducts, they are almost all pavers - not covered in asphalt or concrete...ReplyDelete
Reclaimed Chicago brick is very desirable outside Illinois. Florida, for example, imports it for new construction of landscaping, like driveways, walkways, fire pits, and barbeques. There's a reason why any old Chicago building that gets torn down, has a crew of people bundling the brick!ReplyDelete
The streets up in Jefferson Park area were not paved in brick. They were a large rough-cut stone in a rose or light red color. They were a bit larger that bricks and quite a bit heavier.ReplyDelete
I can concur, as I have some (granite) scavenged from Cortland St. in Bucktown. Very heavy.Delete
Thankyou Dr. Gale for a great article. I recall brick pavement in Melrose Park, IL as a boy in the 1960's. My Mother was a visiting nurse in Chicago where she was born and lived. She used to tell me about the brick streets and street cars in Chicago.ReplyDelete