For a better downtown, Brick Buy Brick

May 29, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown officials have a suggestion for anyone wanting to help in the revitalization of downtown's Public Square - buy a piece of it, literally.

On Tuesday the city kicked off a campaign, called "Brick Buy Brick," that allows people and businesses to purchase a masonry memento for $30 each. They can have their name and brief postscript engraved on their brick, which will be placed somewhere on the square for all to see.

"We're looking forward to getting some participation for this from the community at large, so we are really enthusiastic and excited about it," said Tom Newcomer, who is heading the brick program for the Downtown Assessment District.


Each brick costs organizers $16 to purchase and engrave, with the remaining $14 in profit going to help offset the city's $125,000 cost of the Public Square renovation.

The bulk of the $381,000 renovation project is being paid for through state and federal grants.

Organizers are hoping to raise $10,000 from the brick program within the next month. Work will start in June, after Bluesfest, and will include new paving, planters and other improvements to the square, which was last renovated in 1975.

"Even the skeptics will see that we have a downtown to be proud of," said outgoing Mayor Steve Sager.

City officials said work on the square could be completed by fall.

"That's very optimistic. We're keeping our fingers crossed," said City Engineer Bruce Johnston.

Those who buy a brick can have their own name or business' name engraved, or they can have the brick engraved in the memory or honor of someone else. The bricks can have two lines of type of up to 14 characters in each line.

Application forms for buying a brick are available at several downtown businesses, including Maggie's Hang-Ups, InnerSpace Cabinetry and Flooring, The Book Store Etc., and R. Bruce Carson Jewelers.

For more information, call 301-739-8577, ext. 116.

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