In 1984, Snake Alley was constructed as an experimental street design. The alley is composed of tooled, curved limestone curbing and locally fired blue clay bricks. The limestone and bricks were tilted to allow better footing for horses to climb the street.
Snake Alley consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves over a distance of 275 feet, rising 58.3 feet from Washington Street to Columbia Street.
Snake Alley was nominated to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974. In 1975, the larger Snake Alley Historic District was placed in the Register, which is now a part of an even larger Heritage Hill Historic District.
The five homes bordering the alley were all standing prior to the alley construction, as was the original church. Together they provide the Victorian character and a feeling of enclosure that makes the street appear to be an “alley.” This tightness, with houses stair-stepping down the hillside, is a feeling common to a 19th century European neighborhood.