Bricks are back

Thanks to citizen Dr. Sue Middleton,
Saving the City’s Brick Streets is on City Hall’s Front Burner

The Citizens for the Preservation of St. Augustine (CPSA) announces it has awarded its highest honor of recognition for citizen service to Dr. Middleton for her effort to raise community-wide awareness concerning the preservation of this City’s brick streets.  A commemorative brick was purchased in her honor and is placed in the patio built around the Zero Milestone of the Old Spanish Trail next to the city’s Visitor Information Center.

The brick streets of St. Augustine are survivors of the Flagler Era and the early automobile age.  They are highly visible and part of the town’s charm and romance.  But they are often taken for granted – so many of the brick streets have been covered with asphalt. Those few remaining are in need of repair and with time they have become more and more uneven. Drivers increasingly demand repair or replacement. Asphalting over a bumpy street is quick, easy and cheap solution.

But thanks to Dr. Sue Middleton’s vision, St. Augustine will join the ranks of other communities committed to celebrating its historic built environment. The City of St. Augustine now has an established public policy that requires replacement and repair of existing brick streets slated for maintenance.

Dr. Middleton died in May 2008 after a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Middleton, a St. Augustine psychologist, donated her Davis Shores home to the city in 2007, a year before she died. In making the donation, she said, “I want our wonderful, oldest town to now have a more powerful focus on our search for the evidence of our past, and that evidence lies beneath our feet. As a trained scientist and a deep believer in the importance of our past here, I presently wish to assist our archaeologists to be able to intensify their search for the older reality.”

In August 2011 the Dr. Sue A. Middleton Archaeology Center opened to house the thousands of artifacts unearthed over the years in St. Augustine by its resident archaeologist, Carl Halbirt, and his volunteer staff.

The new Middleton Center is fitting for St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, which has one of the oldest city archaeology programs in the country. Without a doubt, the Dr. Sue A. Middleton Archaeology Center reinforces the city’s commitment to protecting the physical remnants once buried in our city’s historic ground.

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