Photographs, Preservation

On Bloomington’s brick streets

On Bloomington's Brick Streets

In Bloomington, Indiana, just north of the Indiana University campus, you’ll find nine blocks where the interior streets are paved in brick. Bounded by 7th Street on the south, 10th Street on the north, Indiana Avenue on the west, and Woodlawn Avenue on the east, these streets are lined with lovely older homes.

I was in Bloomington in late July to have lunch with my son. My Nikon FA was with me, its 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Zoom Nikkor lens mounted. I was shooting some expired Kroger-branded, Ferrania-made ISO 200 color film I had picked up cheap. I overexposed the film by a stop to reduce the color shifts I was likely to get at box speed.

On Bloomington's Brick Streets

Brick’s heyday as a primary paving material was the 1910s and 1920s. I don’t know when these bricks were laid, but I’d be surprised if it were much earlier or later than those two decades. The occasional brick street or road was laid after then, but more for aesthetic reasons than practical ones. Concrete and then asphalt came to rule the roads.

On Bloomington's Brick Streets

These streets have been maintained, but never restored. While I’m sure these bricks were in perfect rows when they were first laid, they’ve shifted in the century or so since and look uneven now. You’ll find patches where newer bricks were laid, probably to repair deteriorated sections or to replace bricks removed to access buried utilities. Here and there, concrete was used to replace removed brick.

On Bloomington's Brick Streets

The real stars of this neighborhood’s show are the gorgeous older homes that line these brick streets. The university owns many of them and uses them as offices. The rest appear to be private residences. The rest of this post are the houses I liked best of those I photographed.

On Bloomington's Brick Streets
On Bloomington's Brick Streets
On Bloomington's Brick Streets
On Bloomington's Brick Streets
On Bloomington's Brick Streets
On Bloomington's Brick Streets

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.

Standard

9 thoughts on “On Bloomington’s brick streets

    • Brick streets are rumbly to drive over! What I’ve learned is that the layout pattern and the condition of the bricks both determine just how rumbly.

  1. Jane Safford Herr says:

    Always like your photos but these are truly my faves so far. I have lived my whole life just withing 10 miles of Bloomington and all those streets named Rogers – that is my family. Many thanks!

    • It’s terrific when a city or town leaves some of their brick streets intact. My hometown of South Bend paved over a number of theirs, including the main drag through town. I’ve seen photos of that street as brick and it’s cool as heck.

      • Oh, that’s a shame. Most towns around here still have a brick street or two but none more than Athens. They are a huge part of the city’s uptown identity and the campus area.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.