Friday, February 01, 2008

Red Hook #3: Removed Beard Street Paving Stones Reappear

Beard Street Paving Stones One

Those who have mourned the demise of the paving stones torn out of Beard Street in Red Hook to make way for a smooth, paved street that can handle Ikea traffic can stop: the paving stones are back. They are not on the street, but rather on the sidewalk, alternating with spaces where trees will be planted. We noticed them when we were checking up on progress on Ikea and looked down to find something familiar next to the freshly-poured concrete. Given that a lot of paving stones were removed from about two blocks, one supposed they will be popping up in many places in front of and inside of the Ikea property. How one feels about this--good, bad or indifferent--will likely depend on how one feels about the dramatic change on Beard Street. Us, we loved the paving stones on Beard Street and love them on other Red Hook streets where they survive...for now.

Beard Street Paving Stones Two

Beard Street Paving Stones Three

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, at least they are still around. In SoHo, Prince street has been completely paved over. The side streets, thankfully like Mercer, Greene etc still have the bricks.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost quaint how these touches memorialize what has been destroyed. At one point in the middle of the debate over the graving dock, IKEA offered to paint a sort of dotted-line simulacrum of the original graving dock across the parking lot that replaced it.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Peregrine said...

That is the same treatment that they did on Cortelyou Rd. The dirt patches will get new trees and on Cortelyou they added benches and bike racks.
If you visit the Flatbush Gardener you will see that the locals got tulips and daffodils donated from the city, a program that was started after 9/11, and planted them in all the new tree pits.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Ikea.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you. I hate IKEA, too.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FUNNY, READ A STORY IN BROOKLYN EAGLE FROM EARLY 1900'S HOW THE COBBLE STONES USED TO DAMAGE THE WHEELS OF MERCHANTS DELIVERY CARTS AND BREAK THE LEGS OF THEIR HORSES. THEY COULDN'T WAIT TO GET RID OF THEM.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Ikea and they did a great job reincorporating them. You assholes will never be happy. Always looking for something to complain about.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

There's no way of knowing if these are the "same" cobblestones which were removed or not. I would look to see if they're smoothed by a century of wear, or appear fresher than that.

As peregrine notes, this is an increasingly common sidewalk treatment. The reason: it's for the trees.

The cobblestones are locked in place with a permeable grit, rather than mortar. Water can soak through to the ground below. Beneath this is something called "structural soil" which was developed by Cornell University. It creates a root run for the trees beneath the cobblestones. This helps the trees get more water than would just the pit around them. That in turn reduces the risk of "infrastructure conflict" as roots reach out to find that water into inopportune locations such as water mains and sewers.

10:15 PM  

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