Granite Block

Usage: Distinctive

Historic smooth-finish granite block unit pavers often referred to as “cobblestones,” commonly used throughout New York City in the nineteenth century. This treatment is for use in the furnishing zone and may also be used in plazas within landmarked districts.

Gansevoort Plaza, Gansevoort Street and 9th Avenue, Manhattan (Credit: DDC)
Granite blocks in the furnishing zone


  • Visually delineates separation of street uses
  • Reinforces historic character, where applicable


  • Can be slippery when wet
  • Uneven surface can hinder the mobility of pedestrians, people with disabilities, and cyclists



Specification source: DOT Standard Specifications Section 2.06, 6.06

  • Can be sand-set for easier installation and greater permeability wherever impermeable installation generates stormwater runoff
  • Can be mortar-set for stronger structural properties. In Parks-maintained spaces, mortar is required
  • Requires PDC approval
  • Finish: Natural, aged, or tumbled is typical and produces a rough surface texture that is commonly seen throughout the city
  • Finish: Thermal or flamed produces a smooth surface texture that is typically ADA-compliant; consider using in pedestrian zones and around benches
  • Sustainability opportunity: Salvaged blocks
  • Sustainability opportunity: Permeable installation


  • Adjacent property owners are generally responsible for maintaining this material
  • Use of this material requires a maintenance agreement, except when installed by Parks around tree beds
  • When set in sand, stones can become loose over time and will require regular maintenance, including weeding
  • Relatively easy to reset or replace, especially for utility access