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City Of Houston Reinstalls Misplaced Freedmen’s Town Bricks

A contractor had torn into the historic bricks in Houston’s oldest African American neighborhood six months ago.

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  • Dorris Ellis with the  Freedmen’s Town Preservation Coalition addresses attendees of an event to celebrate the reinstallment of the historic bricks.
    Dorris Ellis with the Freedmen’s Town Preservation Coalition addresses attendees of an event to celebrate the reinstallment of the historic bricks.
  • Dorris Ellis with the  Freedmen’s Town Preservation Coalition addresses attendees of an event to celebrate the reinstallment of the historic bricks.
    Dorris Ellis with the Freedmen’s Town Preservation Coalition addresses attendees of an event to celebrate the reinstallment of the historic bricks.
  • Preservationists and city officials lay the last of the misplaced bricks on Andrews Street.
    Preservationists and city officials lay the last of the misplaced bricks on Andrews Street.
  • Preservationists and city officials lay the last of the misplaced bricks on Andrews Street. (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
    Preservationists and city officials lay the last of the misplaced bricks on Andrews Street. (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
  • Preservationists and city officials lay the last of the misplaced bricks on Andrews Street.
    Preservationists and city officials lay the last of the misplaced bricks on Andrews Street.
  • The bricks are believed to have been laid by former slaves and their descendants more than 100 years ago.
    The bricks are believed to have been laid by former slaves and their descendants more than 100 years ago.

Back in November, a contractor doing utility work on Andrews Street accidentally tore into the historic brick street. About 200 of them were removed or damaged.

Historians believe the bricks were laid by slaves and their descendants more than 100 years ago.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city kept its promise to clean and reinstall the bricks.

"The intersection is complete and these historic bricks are being reinstalled without improved infrastructure," he said.

City officials and preservationists then picked up the last bricks and placed them in the street.

Catherine Roberts, a leading voice in the preservation of the Freedmen's Town bricks, considers the reinstallation a good first step.

"But it's not (a) historically correct way to patch a historic street," she said.

She and others continue to talk to the city about how to make utility repairs without disturbing the brick streets.

 

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