(KYTX) In the early 1900's, cities around the u-s started paving the way for the use of automobiles, by turning their dirt-lined streets into ones paved with bricks.
"Would have been muddy in wet weather and blowing dust in the summer."
The dirt roads around Tyler in the early 1900's were difficult to drive on…leaving many stuck in the mud.
"In 1919, the circus came to town,where they unloaded, the streets were so muddy, they had to get the elephants to push the circus wagons where circus grounds were suppose to be."
"About 1910, the county building anew courthouse, with a new high dollar courthouse, didn't want dirt streets surrounding the square so city put in brick streets contiguous to the square and running up to the depot."
"Then you put a layer of sand for the brick to rest on, you lay the brick in, squeeze asphalt in to seal the brick so water wouldn't permeate through the brick into the base."
"If you take an average street width,33 feet, 17.5 million bricks were used in building the brick streets."
This color-coded map details the 24 miles of streets that were originally covered in bricks.
"The blue was the 1920'sbond issue."
In the 1960's, city planners decided to modernize Tyler and paved over some of the bricks streets. Years later the pavement was removed to uncover the brick streets once again.
"I think people realize they are a tangible part of Tyler's heritage and they give a uniqueness that other towns don't have when your driving down a red brick street."
"Today the historic brick street district is located one mile south of downtown Tyler, it encompasses 29 city blocks and over 250 structures."
"The brick streets where they were properly maintained require no resurfacing…good as they were 70, 80, 100 years ago when they were put down."
In 2004, Tyler's brick streets became part of the national register of historic places. A part of history…that many hope to keep driving on for years to come.