Wednesday, August 20, 2008
If you are asking if those are wood, the answer is yes they are.
just wondering out loud what the correct term for them would be
I've seen these is a few places that I can remember. One is the alley in your photo. One time I saw them in a Chicago alley. I also have seen them as flooring in a very large car factory built in the 1940's. I was told they were used in the factory because they absorbed shock. I think they may have been used in early alleys, because it was expensive and not very easy to get really hard-fired bricks before the 1880's and wood was a more durable material, if installed with the endgrain up as shown. And granite cobbles would obvuiously be even more expensive and saved for heavily traveled streets.
The only place I have seen wood paving blocks other than this alley on Main Street is the basement floor of the former Parks Tool Manufactory on Knowlton Street in Northside (now Off-the-Avenue Studio). I was told by the building's owner that the wooden pavers, which were installed with tar, were used to cover the concrete slabs beneath because the factory worked with molten steel to forge their tools in wooden molds. Apparently molten steel and concrete cause explosions.