Follow the Red Brick Roads (Part 1)

On July 11, 1899 newly bricked West 6th Street was opened to the public.West 6th Street was the first bricked street in town, according to this clip from the July 12 Register. (Colonel Athelstan Owen Jones worked for Green & Hunter Brick Company of Thurber.)

brick 12-11-1900 regBrick paving continued into the 1930s. Many of the bricks would indeed come from Thurber, home of both Green & Hunter and the giant Texas & Pacific Coal Company. In 1901 the coal company would buy Green & Hunter. In 1907 Fort Worth would get its own brick company when the Cobb boys set up shop along Sycamore Creek. Clip is from the December 11, 1900 Register.

bricks shinyGranted, today the North Side (Stockyards, pictured), West Side (Camp Bowie Boulevard), and downtown (Main Street) have most of the remaining bricked streets in town. But the South Side and the East Side have a few stretches of brick that haven’t been replaced by concrete or slathered over with asphalt.

South of the Convention Center, Main Street’s bricks have been covered by asphalt. But here and there, especially at intersections, our past is showing. Such as at the intersection of South Main and Broadway in front of a building built in 1926. (That’s one of the new B-cycles rented from a bike-sharing station on East Daggett.)

And bricks peek out of the asphalt at the intersection of South Main and Annie streets. The exterior of the building is much altered, but if just looking at it makes your sweet tooth throb, that’s because for two decades the building housed Simon Hubig’s bakery and the American Pie Company.

Just two blocks south, the corner of South Main and East Cannon streets is a scene little changed in decades. The building (1895) once housed Eagle Steam Bakery.

At the corner of Daggett and Bryan streets is another postcard from the past. Beyond the bricks is the Salerno Building (1909), where Jacob Salerno operated a saloon and grocery a century ago. During Prohibition Salerno’s saloon dispensed (wink wink) “soft drinks.”

In January 1917 the Star-Telegram reported (complete with dialect!) some excitement at the Salerno Building. (The robber was called the “‘Movie’ Robber” because the previous night a crowd of pedestrians had gathered to watch passively as he robbed three men in succession at gunpoint near the T&P station.)

Follow the Red Brick Roads (Part 2)

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This entry was posted in Architecture, Crime, Downtown, All Around, Fort Worth Underfoot, Life in the Past Lane, South Side. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Follow the Red Brick Roads (Part 1)

  1. Ramiro says:

    Hi Mike. What was the reasoning behind paving the brick over with asphalt?

    • hometown says:

      Slippery when wet, for one thing. But at least they are still under there if we ever want to roll back the clock (and the asphalt).

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