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Brick Streets Freedmans Town

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I walk these streets every day and frankly I don't think they are fully salvageable in their current state. They are in an extreme state of disrepair and will have to be moved to fix the surface. Maybe they could make similar bricks, replace them in the original patterns and fill in the holes.

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Didn't they try to do this in 2006? I remember reading that...and posting a thread on it.

EDIT: Here we go.

Edited by IronTiger

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"North of the Montrose neighborhoods lies the community now called Fourth Ward, the oldest black neighborhood in Houston. Fourth Ward is the antithesis of the popular image of Houston. It embodies everything the the city is supposed to lack: tradition, history, a stable, rooted community culture. Fourth Ward, because it is black and poor, has endured official neglect for most of its history, yet it is the most moving place in the city. It is, as the novelist Olive Hershey observed, the soul of Houston."  

 

Stephen Fox, AIA - Houston Architectual Guide, 2nd edition

 

 

 

Surely, a compromise can be reached. The area has already lost so much of it's history. Some of the remaining historical sites are on intersections. At least in these areas, the brick streets should be left undisturbed. 500 historically designated structures reduced to 35, shameful statistics. I plead, please save some of each ward's distinguishing characteristics. 

 

How did the 6th Ward's historical district address the utility updates, and not disturb the brick streets?

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How did the 6th Ward's historical district address the utility updates, and not disturb the brick streets?

 

We only have one brick street remaining, and it is a mess as well. The plan is to completely redo it, while trying to use as much of the histric material (bricks) as possible.

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hmm I also posted a thread about his maybe a few weeks ago. Anyway I already stated my opinion on this and that is that something has to be done about infrastructure. I'm sure the people that built these treats would be disgusted that what they built is in such poor shape. Both the community and the city should have kept better car of these areas and instead let it go into the crapper which is why so many historical buildings ended up being knocked down because they were beyond saving and an endangerment to those around them :/.

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"North of the Montrose neighborhoods lies the community now called Fourth Ward, the oldest black neighborhood in Houston. Fourth Ward is the antithesis of the popular image of Houston. It embodies everything the the city is supposed to lack: tradition, history, a stable, rooted community culture. Fourth Ward, because it is black and poor, has endured official neglect for most of its history, yet it is the most moving place in the city. It is, as the novelist Olive Hershey observed, the soul of Houston."

Stephen Fox, AIA - Houston Architectual Guide, 2nd edition

The last part is a little over the top. It's not the soul of Houston. The title of "soul" should go to a place that has some connection to everybody like downtown, not a gift offering to assuage historical guilt.

The third sentence was right on, however.

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809 Robin St. - c.1870's  - example of the Gulf Coast cottage (very small house, similar to the shotgun style, has side-facing gables) 

 

1318 Andrews St. - c.1870's - oldest datable building in Fourth Ward. 

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The last part is a little over the top. It's not the soul of Houston. The title of "soul" should go to a place that has some connection to everybody like downtown, not a gift offering to assuage historical guilt.

The third sentence was right on, however.

 

There are obviously many definitions of the soul of Houston. I was furnishing one interpretation of what some Houstonians deem worthy. I was hoping to point out what we stand to lose (the two 1870's buildings are not in their original locations, one is a townhouse, the other an empty lot). The same argument can be made for each immediate area surrounding Downtown proper. Some areas seemed to flow from it, until the freeways cut them up. Some have always had natural and man-made borders that have isolated them. My fear is that the third sentence made not be accurate, in the near future. 

 

The Fourth Ward - (or whatever name it's called now) - I've read that some of the area was gifted, but not all of it. Naturally, integration brought changes. But landlords have had something to do with it, as well. 

 

 

"Its residents are caught in speculation and the absentee property owners are having buildings condemned rather than initiating improvements, waiting for the time when the land can be sold for big building"... Peter C.Papademetriou - Houston, an architectural guide (1972)

 

It is my hope that the small cottage got moved not dozed and the red bricks stay. Is it not possible to run the utilities under the sidewalks on these two streets? I don't have a clue how it works. I just know that I have come to appreciate the historical  blue-collar workers tiny dwelling more than the elite Houston mansion. 

 

The soul of Houston to me, personally, lies in the bayou and land of Harrisburg, Texas, or maybe the music of the Eldorado Ballroom. 

Edited by NenaE
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They have aerial photographs of the area (and possibly have even crisper ones than what Google Earth can provide). That way, they could tear it up, repair the utilities and place them exactly in the way they were placed (to a certain degree)

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I'd hate to own a home in the 4th ward. Between the apathetic deferred maintenance of churches to brick streets, the residents who lived there all their lives not caring, now suddenly care, but want someone else to do the leg work or foot the bill.

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Looks like the city is moving forward and finally repair, replace, and restore this area of town of some much needed infrastructure improvements! I can't believe people would actually oppose this -.- They are seriously trying to push for an option to TUNNEL under bricks! That is ridiculous. I know they are important to the community, but that is just foolish lol. Anyway here is the link:

 

http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/news/houston-to-move-forward-with-removal-of-freedmens-town-bricks/

 

They are even hiring an archaeologist from the beginning...so I say they are taking this seriously. Who knows maybe they might find some stuff and maybe this area will get a nice museum out of all this :P 

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