Before the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most city streets were made of dirt and gravel. There was constantly dirt in the air and muddy streets could be impassable when it rained.
According to Gavin Historical Bricks, Mordecai Levi is credited for building the first brick street. He provided the bricks and labor and a Dr. Hale financed it.
In the early 1900’s they began using a glazed brick which was resistant to water and chemicals. Bricks are extremely durable. The business centers of cities and the streets on which the affluent lived were among the first brick streets to be laid. The accompanying picture was taken today in Amarillo, Texas, and the bricks are still in very good shape. Rarely do these brick streets need any repair today. The bricks allowed the rain or melted snow to soak through leaving a clean, usable street.
Unfortunately, many brick streets have been replaced by asphalt and these often need repair. The brick streets are a little bumpy to drive over, but I believe they should be saved because of their beauty, longevity, and history.