by Neale Nickels, Director of Preservation
“Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” [Genesis 11:3]
Good materials and hard work yield strong results. Recently, the PRO Team has been working to restore a long brick pathway in the Jewish Flats section, the original having been damaged during the installation of irrigation piping many years ago and patched with concrete and rubble. The damage was such that we chose to remove the entire path, salvage as many bricks that we could, and lay new bricks in their place. We chose two different bricks that closely match the color and characteristics of Oakland’s historic bricks (and are fired thoroughly, of course). We were also able to retain a majority of the original bricks that border the pathway, which is a nice feature.
It can be a tedious process, but it yields good results and is done in a manner very similar to how it was done historically. With any hope, it will be in great shape for another 100 years. Completing the walkway will allow us to focus on leveling and squaring the coping that abuts the walkway and forms the borders for burial lots, which will really make the restoration “pop,” so to say.