2. What’s the Difference Between Cobblestone and Belgian Block?

Belgian block on Clove Road in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Though commonly used interchangeably in colloquial speak, cobblestone is an earlier pavement method that uses “untooled, naturally rounded stones,” whereas Belgian block is usually tooled granite in rectangular shapes. The HDC writes that cobblestone was used generally up to 1860.

From a physical and geological perspective, Belgian blocks were much more resilient than cobblestones. The HDC writes, “Belgian blocks were hard, durable, and offered a much smoother and more regular surface than cobblestones—’a very solid and impervious roadbed,’ according to an 1895 report in The City Record. Such qualities made them particularly suited for use along waterfronts and other areas with heavy commercial traffic.”