Another Round of Repairs for Wooden Camac Street

With all its history, the streets of Philadelphia are literally a treasure trove of hidden instances of awesome. And you can count the historical 200 block of S. Camac St. as one of those awesome treasures. Years ago, we told you about this block, which is the only one in Philadelphia with a surface of wooden pavers. To jog your memory, this was actually a pretty common road surface for a minute back in the early 1900s. On the plus side, it muted the sound of clopping horse hooves. On the other side of the ledger, it absorbed horse pee and intensified the smells of summer. It seems the negatives outweighed the positives and it quickly fell out of favor.

Like a Frank Furness building, this block of Camac Street transports us to a different era. And it looks really cool while doing it, too. But it seems that the wooden Camac Street requires just as much attention as a regular city street, if not more. It's currently in the process of getting repaved, which is at the very least an interesting sight to see.

Newly laid wooden blocks

Looking south from Saint James St., more blocks coming soon

According to Hidden City, the street was repaved back in the late 1990s but the installation was done incorrectly and needed to be redone in 2000. In 2008 the street was repaved again, and it was repaired in 2012, according to Plan Philly. Now, as you can see, the street is getting repaved yet again. Currently, crews appear to have finished about 15% of the street, having gotten halfway to Saint James Street. The new wood is a different color than the old wood, and we wonder whether it will hold up better. Looking at the remaining sections of Camac Street, we hope that the new surface looks better than this in seven years.

Looking north from Saint James Street, still the old blocks

We've got no clue how much it costs the City to repave Camac Street with wooden blocks in comparison to what it costs to pave a similar street with asphalt. Thankfully, despite what we'd assume are much higher costs, the street is designated historic and this connection to our past will be maintained. If you've never seen it in person, we recommend you check it out. And if you're in the neighborhood and can snag a couple of seats around the corner at Vedge, all the better.