City council votes to ease restrictions on historic brick roads - FOX34 Lubbock

City council votes to ease restrictions on historic brick roads

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

 Driving through downtown Lubbock, it is hard to miss the unique brick roads that date back to the origins of the city itself.

"This is the historic center. This is where Lubbock began," Jane Henry, a board member of the Lubbock Heritage Society, said.

But last week, city council voted to loosen the restrictions on several of these streets.

The idea, when it was first pitched. troubled some preservationists in town.

"The city was only incorporated in 1909 and so, we have not very much history to begin with. I think, if we aren't careful, we'll lose what we have," Henry said.

However, a compromise was struck. Broadway, Lubbock's mainstay road will be preserved as is according to fellow board member of the Heritage Society Mary Crites.

"Any brick that's going to be used in roadway has to be the historic Thurber brick pavers," Crites explained. 

But not all streets, were offered the same protection.

"Texas, Avenue J, Buddy Holly and Crickets will respect the original brick aesthetic, that gives them a lot more latitude, again it's a compromise," she said.

The brick roads not only have a distinctive look, but also a distinctive feel. Some of the streets laid down more than 100 years ago can make for a rough and bumpy ride.

"Most of the disrepair you see, is because of utility work or maintenance work where they patched it with concrete, they patch it with asphalt or they did a very poor job of relaying the brick," Crites said. "The brick streets that haven't had that work done to it are still virtually in very good shape," she added.

The problem lies in how expensive it is to repair a brick road.

They argue these building blocks of the past may also be a foundation for the future.

"The work that's been done around different parts of  downtown have brought in new money, and new vitalization, new activity to downtown, that would not have been as easy to have funded, had it not been for the historic value of the building itself and the brick streets," Henry explained. 

It is unclear what exactly lies on the road ahead but it is certain that The Hub City would not be the same, without these relics. 

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