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All the Brick Streets of Buffalo

After the recent uncovering and amazingly successful grass-roots effort to save the beautiful red brick paving on Ardmore Street in Buffalo interest in Buffalo’s brick streets has grown. This map shows all (or most likely all) of the exposed brick streets of Buffalo.  It was composed by recent Buffalonian LaLuce Mitchell after an exhaustive weekend of research.

I sense now, that LaLuce is on a mission to find all the streets with asphalt covering over intact brick paving below.   That will be a very difficult task but, covered over brick streets do still exist.  I remember my Grandmother’s beautiful red brick street, Carlyle, in South Buffalo. I checked. Low and behold!  With a little Googling you can see  image (image below) that the brick is still there and looks to be in decent shape.  That brick has been there for close to 100 years.  The asphalt, not so much.  Thanks LaLuce!

There are probably 100s of brick streets buried below asphalt paving.  Ardmore is not the first successful save either.  The short strip of Niagara Falls Boulevard between Main and Kenmore was saved over 15 years ago after intense lobbying by the residents of the street and neighborhood.  That street was actually reconstructed and never had been covered over.  Interestingly at the turn of the 20th century Buffalo bragged of having the most miles of streets paved in asphalt.  Back then many streets in many towns and cities were not paved at all.  Asphalt, though less durable, was seen as a great advancement because it was cheap to install and gave a smoother quieter ride and was easier to clean (you know, horse poop) .  Not long ago, Western New York Heritage Press magazine, in a story on the Buffalo Bicycle Club, stated that it was allegedly the largest such club  in the country due to the plethora of smooth easy to ride on asphalt streets.  I will leave you with one last image showing what is possibly the city’s most beautiful street.   Seen here is Timon Street on the East Side with is gorgeous red brick paving and lush canopy of trees.

 

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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