Wooden Block Alley – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura
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Wooden Block Alley

All of Chicago's wood-paved streets are long gone but two alleys remain. 

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Located between State and Astor street behind the mansion of the Archbishop of Chicago you will find the remains of wood block pavement.

In the 1850s wood block streets started to be used in Chicago. The pavement would have been constructed of four by five inch wooden blocks, filled in with gravel and sand and covered with coal tar. All of these combustible material meant that during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 the streets were literally burning  

This alley was preserved and restored in 2011 using either salvage or new blocks. The other wooden block alley at the 2100 block of North Hudson was paved over in the fall of 2018.

Know Before You Go

Runs between the State Parkway and Astor Street, behind the Cardinal's Mansion.

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