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.