Brick streets made their appearance in Columbia around the turn of the century, according to this Nov. 7, 2011 article in the Columbia Missourian.
The article further notes sources say that repaving and repair the city’s brick streets could save money. While brick paving and repair costs more, brick streets last roughly 85-90 years, while asphalt must be repaved or resurfaced every 10 to 30 years.
But there are so many costs not weighed in this comparison. When you look at historic areas, there’s something called “streetscape.” That’s how the entire street looks and feels; this is something that you cannot put a price tag on, it’s priceless. Having brick streets could contribute to the elusive, yet important quality of aesthetics.
For a chance to experience this sense of a streetscape, visit the areas where historic home neighborhoods are largely intact, including the ranch-style home dominated area of the Columbia Country Club, the East Campus area, and West Broadway.
The article includes the information that the company that did some of the brick paving, the J.A. Stewart’s Columbia Paving Company. Note, this company probably was that of Judge J.A. Stewart, who also platted the historic area on Broadway and created John Stewart Park, a private park for the area. By the way, Stewart ran a contest to name the park, and you can read about it here in a 1922 article in The Columbia Evening Missourian.
So what does this have to do with Columbia’s Historic Homes? If we lose bricks and homes, we lose part of our history.
History comes in all shapes and sizes — including streets.
This Columbia Missourian article highlights the brick streets of Columbia with a map of their locations.
Sometimes history is truly right under our feet. That’s the case with Columbia’s brick streets, named to the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission’s list of Most Notable Historic Properties in 2010.
From 1909 to 1915, many of Columbia’s streets were paved using bricks.
Today, many of these streets have been covered by asphalt or concrete, but a few brick streets remain, including Cherry Street, Glenwood, University Avenue and Waugh.
Some communities are removing the covering over the bricks and revealing the historic paving.
Click here to see a map of where the brick streets are or were.
Here’s a list of the streets.
Cherry Street. From 4th Street to 7th Street. Paved 1912
University Avenue. From College Avenue to South William Street. Paved 1911
Lee Street. Bouchelle Avenue to Wilson Ave. Paved 1909
Bouchelle Avenue. From College Ave. to S. William St. Paved in 1909
Short Street. From Broadway to Walnut St. Paved in 1909
Waugh Street. From Broadway to Locust St. Paved in 1911
Glenwood Avenue. From Broadway to Stewart Road. Paved in 1909
Sanford Street. From Conley Avenue to Turner Avenue. Unknown when paved.
Seventh Street. From Locust Street to Elm Street. Paved in 1912
Lowry Street (Lowry Mall). From Ninth Street to Hitt Street. Paved circa 1915. Original bricks were used to repave the street into a mall in 1984.