Bricktown, USA

Words: Bronzella Cleveland
Smyrna, Ga.'s Market Village
Smyrna, Ga.'s Market Village

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 it is winning awards for beautification.

The centerpiece of Smyrna's revitalization – at least in my opinion – is the brick paving project, which really has had a remarkable effect on changing the city's appearance while linking municipal buildings and other structures together. Incorporating bricks from Belgard, the paving 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. 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 brick is simply better. 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 are cold and austere by comparison. There's no substitute for brick!

So tell me, dear readers, what are your favorite brick-clad towns?

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