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There’s a lot going on in the block of Charlotte Street between Princess Anne and Caroline this week. Furniture is being delivered to the Courtyard by Marriott in preparation for its opening sometime before July 4. Meanwhile, a city-hired contractor is replacing the curbs and sidewalks along Charlotte Street.
The curb work is part of the streetscape improvements the city agreed to do when it sold the land at Charlotte and Caroline streets to the Marriott developers. Here are the details of the current work.
Above, you can see the old granite curbs that have been removed from Charlotte street, and have now been replaced with new concrete curbs. A reader called yesterday concerned that their removal was a small way of degrading the downtown’s historic character.
The curbs had to be removed, according to public works officials, because they had been pushed out of alignment over the years and were a hazard to cars and pedestrians. According to city Senior Planner Erik Nelson, the curbs themselves probably date to the early 1900s, but they haven’t been here on Charlotte Street since then. Nelson said many granite curbs have been removed from city streets over the years, and that in the 1970s, the city reused many of them in various places downtown.
That will happen again with these curbs. According to a memo from Assistant Public Works Director Dave King:
The plan for the stones is to save them for reuse along our downtown streets. In fact, we currently have a need for approximately 25 linear feet of curb stone along the Caroline Street side of the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Prior to the new hotel, there was a driveway apron at this location with stone curbs on both sides. This apron will be converted to stone curbing using the same stones recently removed from Charlotte Street. When complete, we will have a continuous section of stone curbing along Caroline Street.
All remaining sections of curb stones will be stored at the City Shop for future downtown streetscape repair or improvement projects.