June 7, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 133

One brick at a time

IRONWOOD — A crew of about 10 people braved 50-degree, rainy weather to advance the brick-laying project at the Ironwood Depot on Wednesday afternoon.

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe
JOE DECARLO, of Ironwood, lays bricks Wednesday afternoon at the Ironwood Depot. In the background are Michael Barto, left, and Adam Magdziak.

With 7,800 bricks to place along the sidewalk, it was no small task.

Around 600 of the bricks are engraved with names of families and special designations. Those bricks cost $100 apiece. They are being placed under shelter at the depot, with protection from the rain.

“We’re also replacing some bricks that are 25 years old and falling apart,” said George Bergquist.

Chief consultant and main brick-layer Joe DeCarlo laid bricks for a living as a union worker decades ago before he retired, he recalled from his knees on Wednesday.

ROTC students from Luther L. Wright High School, under the direction of Lt. Col. Dave Manki, helped remove old bricks last week.

On Wednesday, two young volunteers, Michael Barto and Adam Magdziak, stopped by to assist the older volunteers. Magdziak explained that his mother, Karla, had suggested it would be a good way for the boys to spend the afternoon and their help was appreciated by the others.

The brick-laying project is just one many improvements being made to Depot Park, being revamped as a city center and trailhead.

The city received a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for $429,000, with the city’s match $31,600, to include motorized and non-motorized trails, restrooms, street/pedestrian lighting, parking lot improvements, a new pavilion, Frederick Street reconstruction, a kiosk, playground, trees and landscaping.

There's room for more engraved bricks and people can purchase them by contacting the Ironwood Historical Society or stopping at the Depot.