History underfoot

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)


Before there was blacktop, some streets were paved with stone or brick. East of Piedmont Park, in Atlanta, is a street that still is paved with bricks. It’s named Cooledge Avenue, and is marked on the map below.

Most of the bricks are plain, but a few are not. This paving brick has letters molded into its surface. They say COPELAND-INGLIS arched across the top of the brick, and B HAM ALA in a straight line across the bottom, when the brick is held sideways. Apparently, Copeland-Inglis shipped bricks across the Southeast. They were used in Chattanooga’s freight depot in the late 1800s. They also were used in Tampa, in the driveway of a 1891 building that was once a hotel, and is now a museum on the University of Tampa campus.

I find this quite interesting. Bricks are heavy, making them relatively expensive to ship. However, the best clays for bricks are not available everywhere. Still, it’s very curious that Birmingham, Alabama, bricks were shipped across the Southeast in the late 1800s.

This does leave one question: why were streets paved?

Where to find it