I’m going to be starting a new series of photos and a new project that will delve into Williamsport’s older and disappearing neighborhoods. I’m going to start with one that is only a block or two away from where I live.
The area lies in a triangle that is formed by Market Street, Hepburn Street, and Dubois Street. The neighborhood extends Downtown’s street grid that lies about 30 degrees in comparison to the rest of the street grid in the surround neighborhood. Many of the old cross streets are brick. They are basically alleys now, but back in the day, they were main streets. Architecture-wise, there isn’t much left. What is there, though, shows that there was much more to these neighborhoods than there is now. They were built with good bones.
The southern part of the old neighborhood as seen some redevelopment and revitalization. I would like to see the trend move upward to the few buildings that are left. Sadly, many of these brick streets have been paved over since June. The city decided to take them off of the list of historic streets.
According to the Sun Gazette:
Brick streets are pretty, hold historic value, but are buggers on a city with a tight budget.
That was pretty much the summation Thursday night when City Council, on first reading, voted 5 to 2 to have Court Street between Sixth and Seventh streets and Grafius Street between Hepburn and Market streets removed from those on a list to be preserved as brick.
If the ordinance is amended on May 16, during a final reading, it would allow Streets and Parks to use Community Development Block Grant money to remove the brick, store it for use on other brick streets and pave the streets.
It’s upsetting. You will see the difference in the photos taken today. The first six photos were taken back in June of 2013. The rest were taken today.