Sunday, June 12, 2016

"H" marks the spot

Fisk Avenue "H" | Photo by Jessi LaRue
I spotted this "H" on Fisk Avenue in DeKalb this week.

The "H", made up of five bricks, can be found near the residential area along Fisk Avenue, Pond Street and DeKalb Avenue, which featured the "Haish flats." The flats were constructed by Jacob Haish to provide low-cost housing for working-class families, many of which were Haish's factory employees.

The excerpt below, from "Landmarks of the Barb City" by Stephen Bigolin, provides background on the possible history of the bricks. 
"A pair of curious commemoratives survive along with the flat at 228-230 Fisk. Embedded in the sidewalk on the northeast corner of Fisk and DeKalb avenues, and in the cement of the driveway to the flat, are two groups of five bricks forming the letter H. In 1983, some former residents of the area recalled that they either were told by their parents, or actually saw for themselves, that Jacob Haish himself originally laid these in place. However, this amounts to a case of oral tradition and is open to question.

It is true, though, that the driveway of the Haish mansion was paved with the same kind of decorative bricks and they also are known for their use as sidewalk pavement in front of houses or other tenements constructed by Haish."
Fisk Avenue "H", with 228-230 Fisk Avenue in the background | Photo by Jessi LaRue

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