Wood Paver Alley Restoration

City of Chicago, IL

Project Summary

The Historic Wood Paver Restoration project rehabilitated a wide alley in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, originally constructed in 1909 of wooden paver blocks. One of only two remaining in the City, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a City of Chicago Historic Preservation Division Landmark. The project included re-laying the suitable existing pavers, as well as installing new wood pavers. Drainage deficiencies, uneven surfaces, and ADA issues were corrected. Extensive research regarding this historic paving method guided the design while environmental and community concerns required modernization of some methods. This project received several local and national awards, including both the APWA National and APWA Chicago Metro Chapter Project of the Year, ACEC Illinois Engineering Excellence Honor Award – Small Projects, and ACEC National Project of the Year Award – Small Projects.

Project Highlights

  • Specified new wood block pavers and installation methods
  • Conducted extensive research of methods used in wood block paving in the 1890-1920 era to determine best practices
  • Evaluated various methods of wood preservation, treatment, and weathering to ensure paver block longevity

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