4. Are Belgian Blocks from Belgium?

The HDC writes that “it remains unclear to what extent, and during what era, paving stones imported from Belgium may have provided the raw materials for New York City’s streets.” The type of paving stones originally known as Belgian block were six inch square traprock said to be used in Belgium. In the New York City area, this type of paving was sourced from the New Jersey Palisades. Introduced in 1852, and used generally after 1859, there are no known paving stones of this type today.

Rather, the current paving known as Belgian block was sourced from quarries in the northeast United States, and possibly other locations in the United States. One known quarry was in Vinalhaven, Maine, an active quarry today that also supplied the marble for the eagles of the original Penn Station.