Are the Bricks on the Mall Cracking?

By Samuel Eldridge ’22

Short answer: A little.

Longer (and more interesting, so stick around) answer: The bricks on the mall are quite old, with many being used from the original cobblestones in the street that once ran through the school between the Main Building and Loyola Hall. The bricks are unmortared, so they simply sit in place in the ground, with nothing between them. This allows water to get between the bricks in the winter, freezing and possibly damaging the bricks.

Despite this, an inspection of the mall yields a few chipped bricks, no more. After decades in the rain and snow, why are the bricks in such good shape? The answer lies in building material. Cobblestone bricks are more resilient than concrete or asphalt, so these bricks will hold up for far longer than a normal sidewalk would.

This allows for bricks to remain undamaged by environmental conditions, although they can still be dislodged or broken by sudden force or warped by changes in the ground they are set into (or if a person, say, picks one up and drops it).

Hence, while a few of the bricks on the mall may appear to be cracked, they still provide a beautiful walkway between the buildings on campus, contributing to the overall aesthetic of Saint Ignatius students all know and love.