History laid out, one brick at a time

Published 7:41 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One brick at a time, some of Bainbridge’s history was laid out last week in front of the Firehouse Center and Gallery.

The bricks, which were sold as part of a fund-raising project for Bainbridge-Decatur County Council for the Arts and its renovation of the historic Firehouse, were sorted and laid in place.

There are the churches, the businesses that have been here for more than a hundred years, and then there are the families—some that go back generations—and than there are the names of just individuals.

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All of them though make up the courtyard in front of the two, big double doors of the Firehouse.

“It’s a reflection of Bainbridge history,” said Sally Bates, who assisted with organizing the bricks as they were placed.

Joyce Leverett, who volunteered three years ago to head up the commemorative brick project for the Arts Council, said there are 680 bricks that were purchased.

While planning for the final laying of the bricks, Betty Peak developed a grid. From that, Leverett organized where each brick would go.

That grid became this large taped-together series of pieces of paper that were spread over Leverett’s living room floor for several months. Last Thursday and Friday, it was the map where each brick was to be placed.

“I’m very pleased. I’m pleased that I had such a wonderful experience organizing these bricks because there’s a lot of history here,” Leverett said.

The courtyard’s renovation was past of the Firehouse’s renovation project as well. However, with the streetscape planned on the block of Water and Crawford streets, any enhancements to the courtyard had to wait until the streetscape was finished.

Another plus was the successful lifting of asphalt on Water Street between West and Crawford streets, exposing the brick that vehicles may now travel over, said Roslyn Palmer, a member of the Arts Council and a city council member.

“This is a great thing to make people want to come to Bainbridge,” Palmer said.

“We can push our bricks,” both the commemorative bricks and the bricks on the streets, Palmer said.

The courtyard’s renovation includes a wrought-iron fence and some landscaping, Leverett said.