Brick Pavers in Comer Alley, Over-the-Rhine

Brick Pavers in Comer Alley, Over-the-Rhine

Comer Alley runs North-South between Race and Pleasant Sts. in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati. Being a fan of alleys, I walk down this way regularly but only recently noticed that the brick pavers were made by different companies.

There’s 20th Century and Portsmouth Block. The third one is maybe McManigal? I’m not completely sure of the spelling, but I found a reference in The Clay Worker. Manigal or McManigal was apparently based in Middleport, OH.

Brick Pavers in Comer Alley, Over-the-Rhine

Brick Pavers in Comer Alley, Over-the-Rhine

Anyway… Why does one stretch of alley contain brick from three different companies? My guess is that two of these were salvaged from other sites to repave the alley, and that it wasn’t done very long ago. Does anyone know the story behind this?

7 thoughts on “Brick Pavers in Comer Alley, Over-the-Rhine

  1. Nice post. I saw some McManigal bricks used in another alley — I think near the Mercer Commons site – or maybe it was Parvis Alley behind Reser Bicycle Outfitters. I love alleys too 🙂

  2. My McManigal paver was unearthed at the old railroad tracks near the Ohio River at Pete Rose Way where the waterfront park is. It is now in my living room in Salem Indiana, evoking another era and serving as a conversation piece.

  3. the City recently relaid the alley. the original alley contained only some percentage of the required pavers. the city makes up the difference with stockpiled pavers, which are generally from some other part of town. when they redo an alley, everything is pulled up and the base redone. so the original and imported bricks might get all mixed up.

  4. most alleys were paved with a mix of bricks as they did not need to be as uniform as those used in other areas. they are also not the same compounds used in building or structural brick. I would like to know what is recent in terms of the city redoing this alley. most of the redoing in this area was asphalt(60’s-2010′), the city did use brick form storage or reuse for a long time previous to that but there stockpile is long gone and the reuse is to costly for an alley this far from the business district at that time.The city has used subs for many years and they would reuse the brick if paid a high sum and this alley would not warrant that investment. there was a big scandal during the Cox years where they brought in counterfeit bricks of a sub par level and used a lot of them and took the higher quality bricks and either sold them or used them for a job where there where higher campaign contributors. at one time I think there were over 75 brick company’s in this area were are blessed with great clay around here.

  5. Kevin, thank you very much for sharing all the details. Admittedly, I don’t really know anything about the pavers, other than appreciating them for their aesthetics and historic character.

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