HOUSTON - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced plans to restore historic bricks in Freedmen’s Town.
The bricks, which were laid by freed slaves, were accidentally damaged by contractors a couple weeks ago.
Approximately 200 bricks were removed at the corner of Genesee and Andrews Streets in the historic 4th Ward.
“Many of the bricks were damaged, but the soul of those who have lived here, that spirit has not been damaged,” said Turner.
He explained that contractors will start work on Monday.
First, they will remove more bricks to create a straight edge. Then, they’ll lay a concrete foundation. Finally, they will reinstall the bricks that are still intact.
Some residents are storing the damaged bricks on their properties. The Public Works department is holding the rest of the bricks in crates at a secure store facility.
However, the City also has long-term plans to preserve the area where freed slaves first settled after the Civil War.
The Mayor announced he’s assembling a team to develop a plan for a new historic district in Freedman’s Town.
“Though there have been many changes in this area. Though many refer to it as Midtown. There is no reason, in the midst of the new, that we cannot preserve the old,” said Turner.
The City says it will take about 3 months to replace the bricks.
Mayor Turner is giving his new committee six months to come up with a plan to revitalize Freedmen’s Town as a cultural district.