CONWAY — Conway Downtown Alive is looking for a bunch of historic bricks it can use in the development of a mini-park at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue.
Currently, the land has some trees and benches on it, and has been most recently used as the site of midday music performances. The intersection is among the busiest in Conway and the development that will be taking place will include a small performance stage, but will add a row of shrubbery along the Fourth Avenue sidewalk to help dampen the noise.
The design calls for a bricked and landscaped Main Street entrance to the space, and Downtown Alive hopes it can find historic bricks to add even more cachet.
Hillary Howard, the organization’s executive director, said a brick would have to be at least 50 years old to be considered historic, but she and others are thinking they may find some from buildings or chimneys that have been torn down to make way for new development.
She’s asking anyone who knows of a stash to call the Downtown Alive office at 248-6260.
The city, which owns the land, will be doing the landscaping, which includes the shrubbery and sod, and installing benches and bricks, said Foster Hughes, Conway’s director of parks, recreation and tourism.
Downtown Alive will pay for the stage construction and hopes to raise the money by selling sponsorships to the benches, stage and other things, Howard said. The organization had thought of selling bricks -- the person who bought one presumably would have his or her name inscribed on it – but decided to try to sell sponsorships first.
Howard said the bricked space totals 1,000 square feet to 1,500 square feet and she understands Downtown Alive may not find enough historic bricks in time for the development.
But even some would help, she said. They could be interwoven with the new bricks, giving the new mini-park the historic touch that’s one of the hallmarks of Conway.
The Horry County Museum will be getting a coat worn by Conway’s first mayor, C.P. Quattlebaum, which museum director Walter Hill said will be one of the changing items in a permanent exhibit devoted to textiles at the new museum on Main Street and Ninth Avenue.
Horry County historian Ben Burroughs was given the coat recently by the family of the late Conway Mayor Greg Martin, who found it when going through some of his possessions.
Martin kept the coat for the city after Quattlebaum descendant Janet Jones donated it to Conway. Burroughs said Martin wore the coat each year during tours sponsored by the downtown Conwayborough neighborhood. Martin would sit in his office at City Hall to greet tour takers with a dash of authenticity.
Quattlebaum was a native of Lexington who moved to Conway and became a lawyer before he took the mayor’s seat in 1898, the year the city was incorporated. The house he bought on Kingston Street and his office on Third Avenue are both on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hill said the permanent part of the museum exhibit will include a loom and a sewing machine while textiles such as Quattlebaum’s coat will change intermittently. The plan is that one of the rotations might focus on quilts, another on bridal gowns and so on, Hill said.
He said textiles are the kind of things you don’t want on display all the time because of the dust and lint that will build up on them. But you don’t want them in storage all the time either, he said, because the folds could cause permanent creases.
Rotating the textiles also will ensure that they are examined periodically, and defects or defects-to-be can be dealt with before they become ruinous.
“You like to keep them moving around,” he said.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.