Photos above taken by Kristen Catoe Instagram @k10catoe
Today’s Update 10-9-15
- The City Photographer will be on site on Tuesday to take photos for the City’s archives.
- The Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater-Kent was contacted and they expressed interest in the wooden blocks and copies of the archive quality photos that will be taken.
- Information was obtained concerning the process for having an Historical Marker installed on the block. We will pursue potential feasibility of a nomination and report back.
- After the photographer takes the archive photos a City crew will remove some of the intact blocks for the Philadelphia History Museum and to study. Following that process the street will be leveled and prepared for paving.
UNCOVERED 400 BLOCK OF REED STREET IS WOOD
When were these blocks laid?
Are other blocks of Reed “paved” with wood?
Share with your members and neighbors and friends your researched findings!
THE 400 BLOCK OF REED IS WOOD
After the posting last week, a representative of the Philadelphia Society of Small Streets emailed Councilman Squilla. She asked that the re-paving be stopped and that city officials talk with concerned residents and the DSWCA about whether all or part of the street is worth saving. In response, Streets Commissioner David Perri promptly advised that the street will not be paved, until the most appropriate course of action is determined. He said, “I sent our Chief Roadway Engineer to the street today to evaluate and get a sample. We are in contact with the Historical Commission and we will photograph the street.”
Commissioner Perri also advised president Ted Savage that, “The paving work is stopped until an appropriate course of action is determined. We will evaluate the situation and report findings. Unlike Camac Street which was replaced many times over at least some of these wood blocks could be original. I would advise folks to be careful handling the blocks as they were likely coated in creosote.”
Ted then contacted Will Collins, The Concordia Group, to advise him of the situation and the interest of the neighborhood in perhaps a preservation effort. Mr Collins responded that he “would await word from the Councilman.”
Later today, the Commissioner advised Ted that, “My engineer brought back one of the blocks. Using the original wood blocks in place is likely not a feasible option and they are loaded with creosote which is problematic. I am thinking that the preservation effort might be to display a segment of the original street at a museum such as Atwater-Kent. Maybe there is a way to acknowledge in-place that there was a wood street on 400 Reed with some sort of gesture (installing a very small section of new wood blocks perhaps)….” In order not to prolong the inconvenience caused by not completing the re-paving project, he expressed his hope that a resolution would be reached quickly.
Ted Savage said that he believes that this “discovery” may tell an important story of the history of our neighborhood and that we should do what we can to preserve that story. He asks that anyone, who wants to work now to resolve this issue, send an email to or call 508-639-0939.