Nosy Neighbor: Could this be a piece of the Old Stone Bridge?

A longtime resident of Lispenard Street sent along a note, with the hope that he had found a piece of the Old Stone Bridge that once crossed Canal. I love that idea, and hey, why not? Here’s how he found it: “One day around Lispenard and Broadway, a DOT/ConEd worker emerged from a manhole with a non-conforming paver that had been made flat. He was cursing it for being in his way. I took a look at it and took it home. It’s noticeably bigger than a regular NYC paver.”

Not that he is in the bubble-bursting business, but I checked in with Tom Miller on this, and here’s what his best guess was: “It may have been a building block (the flattened side would have faced outward) or a quoin block [see image below]. It is impossible to say. And while the bridge was in that location, so were dozens of other brick and stone buildings, as testified to by the etching. It very well could have been a carriage step, as well. These flattened stones sat all over the city, in front of nearly every house and building. They enabled a lady (or a guy, for that matter), to easily step up into the carriage.”

Either way, it’s a wonderful souvenir of the old neighborhood and could even prove useful the next time he gets the carriage out.