Albion considers removing sandstone pavers from Beaver Alley

Photos by Tom Rivers: Beaver Alley, a short one-lane street made of Medina sandstone pavers, is a half block south of the Erie Canal.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 July 2018 at 9:15 am

The sandstone pavers are pictured with a dusting of snow. The street has been hard on the village’s plowing equipment.

ALBION – The Village Board is discussing removing Medina sandstone pavers from Beaver Alley because the stone blocks have been hard on plowing equipment.

The village also has to contend with weeds that sprout up between the blocks. Pesticides are typically sprayed to battle the weeds.

The street was paved until 2003. When the Pike Company in Rochester, a contractor for the state Department of Transportation, tore up routes 31 and 98 in Albion about 15 years ago, there were sandstone pavers under the roads.

Ed Salvatore was the Albion mayor at the time and he negotiated having the Pike Company put 5,500 of the pavers in Beaver Alley.

Salvatore at the time said the pavers, made of Medina sandstone, provided a sharp contrast between the new style of road construction on Main Street with the style from a century earlier. He also wanted to preserve some local sandstone history and add another element to historic downtown.

Before asphalt and concrete, many of the streets were made of cut Medina sandstone blocks. Salvatore wanted Beaver Alley, a short one-lane street, to resemble a street from the late 1800s.

There have been complaints the street is bumpy and hard to drive on. The DPW says the pavers also damage snow plows.

If the sandstone blocks were removed, the village would repave the alley.

The Village Board discussed removing the pavers this past Wednesday and has tabled the issue until its next meeting at 6 p.m. on June 25.

The alley has been a popular spot for senior pictures and other portraits. Rhonda and Mark Parker, former Albion residents, used the street in a scene for their film, “Message in a Bottle.” They are shown shooting a scene in June 2015. Rhonda Parker, front left, and her husband Mark, kneeling with camera, have named their film business, Beaver Alley Studios.

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