Fourth Ward community fights to preserve neighborhood history

By Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Residents of Houston's Fourth Ward are fighting to stop a city road project they say threatens to destroy a valuable piece of history.

The city council says they are going forward with the project, but will try to preserve the 100-year-old bricks that run through the streets of Freedmen's Town.

"These streets tell a whole story," resident Demetria Routte said. "I remember my dad telling me about my grandfather laying those bricks."

The freed slaves who founded the neighborhood built the bricks and paved streets themselves when the city of Houston wouldn't.

Now hundreds of years later, their descendants are fighting to keep the city from removing what's left of this area's historic beginnings.

The city plans to have an archaeologist on site during the project to help protect the integrity of the bricks and save any artifacts that are uncovered.

The Conservation Coalition says if the city doesn't change its plans, a lawsuit could be next.

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