Before you gasp in disbelief as City crews patch potholes on Water Street with asphalt, covering and replacing what look like historic cobblestone bricks, you should know that they are actually a product of an early disco era.
The concrete pavers were put in place 40 years ago in an effort to preserve Gastown’s history, avoiding a deeper slide into disrepair.
From Gastown.org: “With talk of demolishing the area becoming more widespread, a group of dedicated citizens took it upon themselves to save Gastown’s distinctive architecture and character. The city rallied around them. Gastown was not just saved, it was reborn.”
Maple Tree Square, where Gassy Jack first arrived from New Westminster by canoe, was built up in 1972 and the brick-like blocks were installed on formed plazas and roadways.
1968 Before reconstruction at Maple Tree Square (Powell, Water, Carroll, Alexander):
1968 Mockups for Maple Tree Square
1972 Maple Tree Square Construction:
There was a push to have Gastown declared a historic site in 1971 but it wasn’t actually officially designated as a National Historic Site until 2009.
City Engineer Peter Judd told Metro News that the roadways won’t be all asphalt. The City of Vancouver plans to repair the road while maintaining the old-timey feel that locals and tourist have come to enjoy.