Monday, June 29, 2009

Ever saw a brick street?

I was at a party over the weekend with lots of lifelong St. Louisans. We got on the topic of neighborhoods and I mentioned how I loved the brick streets in some parts of the city.

A person in our group thought I was talking about cobblestones. "No", I said, "actual brick, the whole street is made of brick." There are many, many blocks like this, if not miles of brick streets running through St. Louis neighhborhoods.

The person was amazed. He had lived in St. Louis his entire life and had never seen a brick street. I was amazed too. How is it possible for someone to live in the same community for forty-something years, and never traveled around enough to see some of our most interesting sights?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, were you going to tell us where they are or post pictures? Are they in neighborhoods one would need a tank to travel safely through?

Rick Bonasch said...

They are all over the place in older neighborhoods, both in north and south st. louis. you will generally find them east of grand. You can also find plenty in Alton, IL.

They make for much calmer traffic. Get going over 20 mph, and the sound from the vibration of you car is almost deafening. So people generally drive slower.

I don't know where you need a tank to drive around safely. Maybe you know the streets better.

You don't get the full effect though until you're on the street, surrounded on both sides by brick buildings.

It must have been quite a sight to see, all those men, laying those streets, one brick at a time. That is a lot of brick

Alex Ihnen said...

The alleys and streets of the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood are brick - in fact we're beginning to see quite a bit of brick appear as the asphalt breaks away near the corner of Chouteau and Taylor. I love this photo of street pavers on Compton: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Uk7StK0xGB8pWFl5WpoivA?authkey=Gv1sRgCKyA84aqgNu_nwE&feat=directlink

Rick Bonasch said...

Thanks Alex, Great picture.

If I'm not mistaken, that looks like the twin spires of St. Anthony of Padua church in the background.

When you get off the highway and into the neighborhood, you find lots of those brick streets still in use.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but I bet they all knew where everybody went to high school...

samizdat said...

Hey, anon, you daffy duck, why don't you come down to Dutchtown (where I live) or Gravois Park. Considerable lengths of Gasconade, and Pennsylvania, Virgina, and more are still paved with bricks. Made right here in St. Louis. Of course, most of the alleys are still paved in brick. Those which aren't brick have been paved over with asphalt, as part of the City's busy-work program, or were originally cast in concrete. Actually, most of the streets are still brick, you just can't see them because they have been paved. Hell, you can even see the turnaround loop for the old Grand Ave. line streetcar (President's Conference Commission---PCC--rolling stock also made here at St. Louis Car Co.) at the end of my alley, tracks, powerhouse, and the one remaining cable pole, behind (north) Meramec. "Need a tank to travel safely through". That's just insulting and uncalled for. Re: the pic: Yeah, definately St. Anthony. Probably Minnesota, Nebraska or Oregaon. I'll hedge north of Meramec. Finding it will be a fun treasure hunt for my wife and I on our bikes, er, I mean, our Sherman tank. (slaps forehead)

Anonymous said...

Walsh east of Grand, North of Delor is brick. I think it runs the length from Grand to Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Sorry,that should be SOUTH of Delor.

GMichaud said...

The street in front of my house is brick on Grace Ave. They covered the alley a few years ago with asphalt.
Which brings up the question of why use asphalt or concrete for city roadways at all, especially side streets. The brick street in front of may house may be as old as my house (1904). If not, it certainly has lasted far better than asphalt which seems to need repaving in just a short time.

I wonder if there are any cost benefit analysis that the city has done for maintaining brick roads rather than using an asphalt overlay and also for installing new brick paving?
My guess it is only short term planning that is considered.

Brian said...

Dalton, and a few other streets on The Hill/SW Garden are brick.

Stephen H. said...

Labor to lay brick is ridiculous these days, something about not wanting immigrants here and a few labor laws will do that.

Anonymous said...

My in-laws live by Walsh, and I know that when the brick street needed repairs, the city was going to just pave over the repaired part with asphalt. It took a lot of phone calls from the neighbors to the city to get it fixed with brick.

Anonymous said...

In the Lou area it's called the Concrete Mafia. Look around, not only are nice old brick streets and alleys covered, but every major project (Page Ext., Metro Ext., Lambert Ext., the New 64 highway and soundwalls, etc.) is all about laying more asphalt-concrete than is needed or wise.

Pulitzer's Ghost said...

Re: "How is it possible for someone to live in the same community for forty-something years, and never traveled around enough to see some of our most interesting sights?"

That's one of the things that, to me at least, is so interesting and maddening about St. Louis: The term St. Louis means radically different things to different people, based on where they were raised. I grew up in Florissant and we went to a trivia night at the Letter Carriers Union Hall on Broadway a couple years back. One of the categories was "St. Louis" and we didn't get a single one because to the people writing the questions, St. Louis = South St. Louis.

victor said...

thanks for link to the great picture ,,


___________________
victor
Get 28 movie channels for 3 months free

victor said...

Its really very nice picture
thanks

___________________
victor
Getting a Payday advance is just a few steps away

anonymous said...

Interesting that I found this while searching for information on brick streets in St. Louis. I am currently fighting to save my brick street, Eitman Avenue, in Clifton Heights.