Granite Block

Usage: Historic

Historic smooth-finish granite block unit pavers often referred to as “cobblestones,” commonly used throughout New York City in the nineteenth century.

Greene Street, Manhattan
Granite blocks


  • Reinforces historic character
  • Calms vehicle traffic
  • Can visually delineate separation of street uses or modal priorities
  • Granite blocks are relatively easy to remove and reset, especially for utility access


See considerations of Granite Paver

  • May generate significant noise from vehicle tires
  • Uneven surface can hinder pedestrians, cyclists, and people with disabilities; attention must be given to navigation by people with disabilities at crosswalks, and by cyclists
  • Can be slippery when wet


  • Should be used wherever there is existing granite block in historic districts where the historic fabric remains intact
  • Use of this material is subject to LPC review when used in historic districts with existing granite blocks
  • May be used to provide visual delineation to separate bike lanes from vehicle lanes or vehicle lanes from pedestrian areas
  • Can be used to designate areas of the roadbed not intended for regular vehicle travel, such as pedestrian streets or textured gutters, aprons, or medians
  • DOT generally maintains this material in historic districts, but any third party that excavates it must restore it in kind or as directed by DOT pursuant to Rules of the City of New York, Title 34, Section 2-11(e)(12)(vii)
  • Use of this material outside of historic districts requires a maintenance agreement


Specification source: DOT Standard Highway Specifications Section 2.06, 6.04

  • Can be sand-set for easier installation and maintenance and for greater permeability, or mortar-set for stronger structural properties
  • May require concrete base
  • Provision must be made for a smooth cycling surface, regardless of whether or not the roadway is part of a designated bike route. Design treatments include mediumto large-sized thermal-finished granite
  • 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 where there is a pedestrian path of travel
  • Sustainability opportunity: Salvaged blocks
  • Sustainability opportunity: Permeable installation


  • Stones can become loose over time and require intensive, regular maintenance


Workers replacing cobblestone

NYC DOT Sidewalks Crew replaces granite blocks: Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx