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Landmark Wooden Alley Gets Dug Up in the Gold Coast

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Over the weekend, reader Nate Lielasus spotted a strange development in the Gold Coast: Workers have taken out all the wood blocks from the famous wooden alley that runs between the State Parkway and Astor Street, behind the Archbishop's residence. (Flickr user ChicagoGeek posted a couple more.) According to Forgotten Chicago, wood block was a very common paving material in pre-fire Chicago because wood from Wisconsin was cheap, but almost all the streets and alleys that were originally paved in wood have since been resurfaced. The city of Chicago's website says the wooden alley was built in 1909, and it's on the National Register of Historic Places. So why is it being dug up now?

UPDATE: A Reader tells us that the alley in question "is being restored (with wood bricks) as part of a city-sponsored restoration project. It is not being paved over, as has been the case with many similar wood-brick alleys across the city." That's good news.

· Wood Block Alleys [Forgotten Chicago]
· Wooden Alley [City of Chicago]