We commend everyone involved in identifying a potential new home for some 1,200 engraved memorial bricks purchased by local residents for a downtown project in the early 1990s.
As reported by The Journal on Monday, the bricks may be included in plans for development of the old Argosy casino site on the riverfront.
In our view, that's a great idea. In fact, we like the idea so much, we suggest the city expand on it by selling more such bricks and applying the proceeds from sales to the total riverfront development cost.
Here's the background:
The bricks were sold by Main Street Sioux City (today the organization is known as Downtown Partners) to be part of a pedestrian mall between what then was a JCPenney store (today the building houses the Public Museum) and what then was the Terra Centre (today the building is called the Ho-Chunk Centre). When the City Council voted to reopen the pedestrian mall to traffic in 2008, the bricks were removed and placed in storage.
Through the years, residents who purchased bricks have asked Downtown Partners what happened to them. Understandable.
In response, Downtown Partners and the city's Parks and Recreation Department began discussion of a new location.
At this point, Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore told The Journal for Monday's story, the proposal is only to incorporate the bricks within the riverfront design in yet-to-be-determined fashion.
"We don't have an exact plan for them, but we're going to find them a home," he said.
At a properly deliberate pace, community discussion about the former Argosy site continues. In June, the City Council approved a $124,500 contract with consultant SmithGroupJJR Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, for survey work, refined design work and administration of additional public input connected to the project.
We urge city leaders to embrace making bricks - the old ones as well as new ones - part of tomorrow’s riverfront.