Monday, December 9, 2013

Bluestone Blues

19th century brownstones and a 50 foot heigh limit help give Cobble Hill its visual character, but they are only part of the equation. In our landmarked area, the most overlooked element may be what rests underneath our feet - the sidewalk.

Unlike most of the city that has concrete squares, much of Cobble Hill offers unique bluestone slates providing a smooth walking surface.

Construction began in late October along Henry Street's sidewalk, ripping up much of the surface with no notice of what project was underway. A tweet to Community Board 6 put it on their radar and brought the project's details to light. A water line running along Henry Street needs to be replaced. In order to safely replace it, Natural Grid needs to relocate an adjacent gas main currently too close to the water line for Department of Design and Construction to do the replacement work. Only the work done by National Grid requires cutting the sidewalk, which means it is National Grid's responsibility to repair the sidewalk.

Unfortunately their typical sidewalk repairs only involve poured concrete.

Having heard many concerns from the neighborhood, the Cobble Hill Association will work with the local community board to make sure the Department of Transportation pushes National Grid repair the sidewalks to their original condition when all construction work is complete. Stay tuned for more updates on this issue and ways to help make sure our landmarked area retains its distinct look.

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