Last night(August 5, 2011) I walked by the Cardinal's house at North Avenue and North State Parkway, and I noticed in the alley behind the Cardinal's house they are currently replacing the wood block pavers so well described in Sergeii's article. I picked up one block-it is a massive 4x5 by about 12 inches. Really cool, and they made a large cement fram of about the width of the alley and about 60 feet long, so the new block pavers should staywell preserved for at least 50 years.
Great photos and interesting article! I worked at 160 E. Illinois Street many, many years ago when it was just an old, 6-story brick building and there was a wood-block alley running along the north side of the building. I wish I had thought to take some pictures of it way back when. The old building is now long gone, replaced by a highrise of condos but the alley is still there and the wood blocks may still exist under a coating of asphalt.