What are your favorite brick-clad towns?
by Cory Sekine-Pettite
During the last few years, Smyrna, Ga., (the town where I live) has undergone quite a transformation as the city has aggressively pursued new construction and revitalization efforts. To city leadership’s credit, these efforts have not been in vain. Not only does my town look great, but also it is winning awards for beautification – two, in fact, from the 60th Keep America Beautiful National Conference.
The centerpiece of Smyrna’s revitalization – at least in my opinion – is a paving project, which really has had a remarkable effect on changing the city’s appearance while linking municipal buildings and other brick structures together. Incorporating permeable pavers from Belgard, the project also is making Smyrna more walkable; I am seeing more and more residents out walking these days. It gives me great pleasure to see city leadership who are committed to Keep Smyrna Beautiful, which happens to be the name of the city’s recycling program, but it’s more than that. It is a general attitude about keeping Smyrna vital, enticing to new residents, and creating a pleasant atmosphere for current residents who truly can appreciate the changes.
Since the improvements began, I often find myself reminded of other U.S. cities whose aesthetic is defined by brick. (Smyrna’s pavers are not fired clay, but there are many brick buildings in town.) The first places that come to mind are Boston, Mass.; Annapolis, Md.; Newport, R.I.; and Oklahoma City’s “Bricktown” district. If you have visited – or happen to live in – one of these towns, then you know why these towns are so remarkably beautiful. Towns with brick-paved sidewalks and mostly brick buildings give the place a real identity and a real homey quality that is palpable. Glass, steel and concrete usually is cold and austere by comparison.
So tell me, dear readers, what are your favorite brick-clad towns?