Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Questions for Curatorial - Paving Stones on Orchard Street

When was Orchard Street paved? Were street lamps added?

Although there appears to be no exact date recorded for the paving of the Orchard Street block bounded by Delancey and Broome, paving stones likely replaced dirt sometime in the 1850s or 1860s. During the mid-19th century, experiments were undertaken with different paving materials, including macadam, woodblocks, and cut stone blocks. Rectangular, granite paving stones called Belgian blocks (made of trap stone) became widespread in some areas of the city in 1852, replacing common round cobblestones. According to extant prints from the period, gas–fired street lamps could be seen on street corners by the 1860s as well.

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