28 Comment

  • I saw bricks under heights blvd. at the 11th street intersection durring construction.

  • When the City redid the 11th and Heights intersection there were also bricks under the 18″ of asphalt.

  • Reminds me of the granite curbs in DC. They last considerably longer than concrete ones, especially when there’s snow removal equipment banging around.

    There’s a few blocks scattered around the city interior that still have them on the surface. Used to be a few in 6th ward. Don’t know if they survived the gentrification.

    Maryland near Waugh I believe has a block of brick.

  • Not as exciting as finding the Twin Sisters.

  • Recent light rail construction on the East End line has also uncovered bricks like this, buried under layers of asphalt.

  • Camp Bowie Blvd in Ft Worth still employs them and was a nightmare to drive on, modern street construction methods certainly do a better job and outweigh the nostalgic presence of bricks.

  • Sabine Street between Lubbock and Washington is all brick with spots of asphalt. It’s very cool but very bumpy.

    When we moved into our office off of Sabine, someone told us that the city is not allowed to fix the giant dip in the street because of the historic brick-does anyone know if that’s true? If not, it’s time to call 311 because every day I hear peoples’ cars getting the bottoms ripped off of them right outside my window….

  • I saw people salvaging them from the 11th St intersection with Heights Blvd several times during the construction. Given that the City would probably just have landfilled them I was glad to see someone getting some use out of them. Chances are that they run the full length of the Blvd still.

  • Ohhhhhhhhhh…old bricks…under layers of paving..I’m mentally creaming …..just kidding ! There are several streets in Montrose that still have the original ( I think ) brick surfaces. They’re cool looking but not as smooth as concrete /asphalt to drive on…

  • Not only are the bricks still there but also the street car tracks.

  • “a nightmare to drive on”? Gimme a break. I love brick streets, and one of the beauties of them is that people drive more slowly (because they’re not perfectly smooth and because of the sound) – so you get nice looking and long-lasting streets with slower (safer) traffic — all without axle-busting, ugly, inefficient “speed bumps” and such.

  • My old home town had (and still has) brick streets everywhere. They do have the advantage of allowing street repairs, followed by use of the brick removed to gain access to the ground underneath as the “new” street surface. (Filling the hole with asphalt is laziness!)

  • Of course, for a lot of smaller streets, where people speed incessantly and road humps wind up getting installed, brick might be a great, attractive option for calming traffic.

  • You can also see them emerging where the streets stops & curbs begin. One place that comes to mind is that antique store on 11th @ 9th. They aren’t as visable as this though!

    @SL – what twin sisters?

  • Also, south heights (I-10) is technically 77007 :)

  • NS-G:Pair of cannon donated to the Texas cause for independence in 1836. They disappeared during the Civil War and it is commonly believed they were buried near current downtown to prevent their capture.

  • And if memory serves, a cache of cannon were discovered sometime in the 1980’s? But the TS’s were not among them.

  • @Sierrajeff-I love the aesthetic of the brick streets too, but in the case of Sabine Street, people do NOT slow down, and the street has shifted so much that it’s really killed the nice parts about driving down the street. Going over the huge dip near Lubbock even very very slowly still makes even SUVs bottom out. But the people who lose parts of their cars were going too fast anyway, so no sympathy there…

  • @northside girl: Fixed. Thanks!

  • I was in Fort Worth for labor day wknd and drove up and down Camp Bowie all weekend. Camp Bowie is in no way a nightmare to drive on. It is well-maintained and beautiful.

  • I love the look and the feel of brick roads.
    (and cotton)
    But they settle, don’t have a durable foundation. Modern roads are far superior, however, building one on top of old brick is no better for longevity – they will always need filling in here and there.
    Due to subsidence, think about how flooded these streets would be if they were 18″ lower!

  • @Mark – Like much of Ft Worth, they have likely improved Camp Bowie, in the late 90’s-early 00’s, it was a mine field.

  • I found a brick driveway burried a few inches under my gravel driveway. I wonder whether brick roads were laid throughout the Heights when the majority of the homes were built in 1920.

  • I love Sabine St, too, but nearly lost parts of my way-old Saab even when moving a a snail’s pace. Still, would hate to see anything happen to it (like paving) — although I wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to fix the sink hole near Lubbock!

  • 14 @ northside girl:

    Where is 11th at 9th? I used to hang out in the heights back in the 70s and simply cannot place this antique shop.

  • Northsider, you are correct. Camp Bowie was completely redone in the early 1990s. Prior to the renovation, it was every bit the nightmare that has been described…low spots where the foundation failed, asphhalt repairs, missing bricks creating jagged potholes, etc. The city considered simply replacing the bricks, but that stretch was, and is, iconic, so they eventually decided to spend millions of dollars to redo it.

    The rebuild required taking up the old bricks and salvaging what they could. They found replacement bricks for the broken and missing ones. The entire street was taken up one side at a time, and repaved with concrete foundation. Then workers replaced all of the bricks by hand. It was time consuming and expensive, but when finished, the roadway was solid and somewhat smooth.

    Even all of that foundation work does not make the bricks car-proof. They still crack and come up, but the city now replaces them with spares instead of asphalt. So, the statement that brick streets are a nightmare is largely true…until they spend a fortune to rebuild the foundation. Then, not so bad.

    Fort Worth also has some brick streets downtown. However, these are not original.

  • Excellent clarification, thanks Dave. I love Fort Worth, and Camp Bowie is a great thoroughfare to explore if you have not been before.

  • Cool! I’m renting a jackhammer to dig up my street!