Historic Belgian Block Pavers Uncovered on Orchard and Broome During Resurfacing Work

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 at 5:11 am by and
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Some routine resurfacing work within the last few weeks uncovered the paving methods of a previous generation of Lower East Siders.

Several local streets were scraped bare three weeks ago as part of a $17.9 million job (#HW2CR16B) that includes resurfacing work in the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. In doing so, the historic Belgian Block pavers beneath the intersection of Orchard and Broome are temporarily visible. So, snap those photos before the asphalt is laid this week (the pouring was delayed).

These Belgian Blocks are not to be confused with “cobblestones,” which are technically a haphazard collection of rounded rocks. This was the common method of paving roads before the more traditional asphalt blacktop. Belgian blocks (aka “Sett”) was in vogue during the nineteenth century, brought into the city as ballast on ships in the 1830s. It was also easier to embed trolley rails on them.

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