Bricktown, USA

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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2 thoughts on “Bricktown, USA

  1. While Smyrna GA certainly deserves accolades for its beautification efforts, it is very disappointing that this masonry blog unabashedly uses the term “brick” for non-brick products. I am sure that the writer knows that concrete paving units are not synonymous with fired clay pavers. They are made with different manufacturing processes and attain their aesthetic look in different ways. In fact, one of the reasons why genuine clay brick streetscapes in places like Boston, Annapolis and Oklahoma City have had so much appeal for such a long time is that their vibrant, through-body color is fired through the unit – without the need for color additives or sealants. In the future, it would be helpful if a blog like this accurately portrays the products it writes about – whether they are made from clay, conrete or something else entirely.

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