Photo by Heather Middleton
By Joel Hall
For five months, Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc., has been offering citizens a chance to be a part of the city's Streetscape project, by purchasing commemorative bricks, which will eventually line South Main Street.
With a deadline fast approaching, the historical society is making a final push to sell as many bricks as possible.
From now until Sept. 20, individuals, businesses, schools, and other entities will be able to make a permanent imprint on downtown Jonesboro by purchasing the bricks.
According to Historical Jonesboro President Barbara Emert, the cost of a personalized brick is $35 for one, and $100 for three. She said the bricks -- up to 900 of them -- will line the sidewalk on South Main Street between West Mill Street and Jonesboro.
"This is an opportunity for people and companies to leave a lasting legacy in downtown Jonesboro," Emert said. "It will add character to the Streetscape project, and it is something tourists and residents will notice when they visit our downtown. It is a wonderful way to memorialize ancestors, family members, or to bring attention to a business, school, class group, church, or organization.
"So far, we are at around 200 bricks [sold], but they [orders] are starting to come in," she continued. "A lot of people who have graduated from Jonesboro High School have bought bricks. More businesses are starting to buy bricks."
Emert said the bricks will be displayed along the sidewalk in three separate "pods," each containing 300 bricks. She said the historical society may be able to sell bricks after Sept. 20, but the process will become more difficult and more expensive.
"It will be more expensive in the future because the company will have to come back here and remove some bricks" in order to install commemorative ones, Emert said. "We'll have to sell a certain number before they'll even come back here. It's not a good idea to wait."
Streetscape, a three-phase project to beautify the downtown area, began its first phase earlier this year.
Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox said he believes the brick project will add "personalization" to the project and generate pride in the city.
"Streetscape is important to the revitalization of downtown Jonesboro," Maddox said. "Once Streetscape is finished, we are hoping it will drive people to do something to their own building, and help revitalize the downtown community," he said.
"I personally have bought bricks for me and my family. I also encouraged my high school class to do so as well," said Maddox. "Fifty to 100 years from now, we will still be remembered by those bricks."
According to Emert, the bricks will be unveiled upon the completion of the first phase of Streetscape, which is scheduled to be done by the end of this year, or early next year, according to city officials.
Bricks can be personalized on three lines, up to 18 characters each, which includes spaces and punctuation marks.
The bricks can be purchased with cash, check or VISA card at Stately Oaks Plantation, located at 100 Carriage Lane in Jonesboro, or by contacting Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc., at (770) 473-0197, or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.