Wooden Alley

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Wooden Alley
The Wooden Alley.jpg
Wooden Alley is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Wooden Alley
Wooden Alley is located in Illinois
Wooden Alley
Wooden Alley is located in the United States
Wooden Alley
Location1535 N bet. Astor and State Sts., Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°54′37″N 87°37′42″W / 41.91028°N 87.62833°W / 41.91028; -87.62833Coordinates: 41°54′37″N 87°37′42″W / 41.91028°N 87.62833°W / 41.91028; -87.62833
Arealess than one acre
Built1909 (1909)
Built byTodd, Alexander
Architectural styleWooden Block Paving
NRHP reference #02000543[1]
Added to NRHPMay 22, 2002

Wooden Alley is a historic wood block paved alley connecting Astor Street and State Street in the Near North Side neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The alley is 530 feet (160 m) long and composed of wooden blocks roughly 6 to 10 inches (150 to 250 mm) long and 4 inches (100 mm) wide. This wood block technique is a derivative of Nicholson paving, a more durable method of wooden paving which replaced plank paving in many U.S. cities in the nineteenth century. First paved in 1909, the alley is one of only two wooden alleys remaining in Chicago. Wooden paving was common in the late nineteenth century in Chicago, as the city's large lumber market made wood much cheaper than other paving materials. By 1909, however, a decline in the lumber market combined with the increased durability of other paving materials had caused the city to turn away from wooden paving, making the alley an unusually late example of the method.[2]

The alley was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 2002.[1]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ Metzler, Madeleine (November 10, 2001). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Wooden Alley" (PDF). Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved January 1, 2018.