|Brick streets to be the new-old norm in historic Wilmington|
In some of the oldest parts of Wilmington, shaded brick streets welcome you into calm neighborhoods. The bricks harken back to much earlier days, serving as a bumpy reminder of when horses - not tires - traveled the streets.
But in the years just after the Great Depression, the city moved away from paving new streets with brick, in part, to save money. Over time, many of the brick streets were covered with asphalt.
Eventually, the asphalt wears away to show the brick streets underneath - sturdy reminders of bygone decades.
Today, brick streets within the city's Historic District and Historic District-Overlay are to be maintained as brick streets. That includes keeping stockpiles of older bricks to replace worn or missing ones.
But what happens to brick streets covered in asphalt?
That's not as clear.
Janet Seapker, an architectural historian and vice-chairman of the city's Historic Preservation Commission, wants to change that.
Seapker, who was the longtime director of the Cape Fear Museum, has asked city planners to consider updating Wilmington's brick streets policy. If she has it her way, the city will ensure the policy prevents paving over bricks that have been uncovered as asphalt wears away.
"I've been concerned about it for years," Seapker said.
Her interest grew after she saw asphalt eroding to show more brick streets than she even knew existed. The policy update could also further define procedures for repairing brick streets.
Although planners are studying the proposal, no change is imminent, said Ron Satterfield, the city's planning manager. He said the matter is in the discussion-and-brainstorming phase, adding that there's no draft policy to release.
(Star News Online, 2/14/2013)