Some of the streets of St Augustine’s historic downtown are paved with brick as shown in this image. As locals will tell you, it is BRICK – not cobblestone! This is actually an interesting piece of the local history.
The coastal area of Florida where St Augustine is located, does not have much stone available to build with so, flagstones and cobblestones are not found here. Many of the surviving historic buildings are constructed of a material known as “Coquina” which is sedimentary rock composed mainly of shells but this is not what was used for the streets.
In the early days of the city, the builders used cypress logs to line the streets and make them more durable but those tended to get washed away when floods came. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the city began using bricks to pave the streets. Many of the brick streets have since been paved over with asphalt but some are still visible and the city is making efforts to restore and repair them where possible.
The bricks seen here are marked Reynolds Block and were made by the Tennessee Paving Brick Company of Robbins, Tennessee (later sold to the Southern Clay Manufacturing Company). This company made bricks from 1888 to 1939 and they grace the streets of a number of historic cities like Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Petersburg, Florida as well as St. Augustine. Along with Tennesee Paving and Southern Clay, Graves Birmingham also provided bricks for St Augustine’s streets.
It is wonderful to notice the historic details of a place even if it is just under your feet!
Reynolds Block brick streets – St Augustine, Florida
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
16mm @ f8 – 1/250 sec – ISO 400