History is revealed in exposed bricks in downtown Huntsville construction project

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The city of Huntsville is growing and changing every day. There are several ways to view and research history, but as our great city builds up, we're given the opportunity to look down and discover our true roots... in the bricks we're built on.

Yes, the bricks.

“The idea and the building, the making, the laying, the history of the city, then I realized….it was all about bricks," Carol Codori said.

Codori is a member of both the Historic Huntsville Foundation and the Huntsville/Madison County Historical Society. She has become a sort of "brick enthusiast" since she spearheaded the revitalization of an old sidewalk exhibited on the Downtown Huntsville square.

Since that project, her curiosity hasn't stopped her from learning more.

"They were made of the soil, they were made by hand, and they’re all around me, they always are in every city," Codori said. "Then I said 'ah, this is the basis, this is the root literally, coming from the soil.'"

The bricks that support our buildings and our roads tell us about our city's history, but they're also changing along with the growth of the city.

"You realize the roots and the soil are changing those sidewalks and pushing them and moving them," Codori said.

Sometimes as we bring in the new, we discover the old. An old sidewalk was uncovered during construction on Holmes Avenue at Dement Street in Huntsville.

Local postcard collectors The Southpaw have a postcard that shows the same original brick.

Local postcard collectors The Southpaw have a postcard that shows the same original brick.

Codori guesses the machine-cut bricks on Holmes Avenue were starting to be laid in the city post-Civil War, in the late 1860s. And rail tracks were probably laid down to support a streetcar system in the late 1880s.

"By 1869, people were back in gear, and public works were back," Codori said.

Codori will continue digging into the history of the city’s foundation. She says again, it’s all about your roots.

"It’s about what built the reason you’re here," she said. "People were here before and they were building this and making it accessible to us now.”

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