Memorial Brick Program
For more than a decade, the City of Georgetown has installed memorial bricks in the four corners around the Williamson County Courthouse through an informal partnership with the Williamson County Historical Commission, which operates the program. The City’s only role was to install the bricks when contacted to do so.
The City suspended additional brick installations in June 2021, after we received concerns about the program and discovered we did not have a formal agreement with the Commission. While we appreciate the partnership with the Commission and the work it does to preserve Williamson County’s history, the City needs an agreement if the program is going to continue.
City Manager David Morgan asked the Historical Commission to develop a formal agreement, which needs to include parameters, an identified process/criteria, and an expanded role for the City. City staff will present that agreement and options to the Georgetown City Council for direction. We hope to present these options to Council before the end of summer 2021.
In the meantime, and until that formal agreement and direction are established, the City will not be installing any additional memorial pavers through this program.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When did the City of Georgetown start installing bricks around the Courthouse?
We haven’t been able to identify a specific date when the program started, but our understanding is that it’s been in place more than a decade.
- Where on the sidewalk around the Courthouse are the memorial bricks installed?
The City installs the bricks only on the four corners of the Square, because these areas are City property. Williamson County has jurisdiction over the sidewalk immediately around the historic Courthouse.
- Were only bricks of a certain size approved by the city? Some appear to be larger than others.
The City does not currently have a formal agreement with the Williamson County Historical Commission. The City currently isn’t involved in any approvals or review of the bricks. City public works crews just installed the bricks when contacted by the Commission.
- Does the City receive any compensation for installing the bricks?
No, the City did not receive compensation for installing the bricks. In past years, we have installed one or two batches of about a dozen each. Crews estimate each batch took one person less than an hour to perform the work – so installation took one person fewer than two hours per year.
- People have expressed concerns about the bricks honoring the Confederacy, particularly due to its proximity to the controversial Confederate statue on the Square. Does the City have a response to this?
Those concerns are fair, and given the recent criticism and concerns about the program, we have suspended additional installations.
The memorial brick program has been around for more than a decade. Upon further review, we realized the City doesn’t have a formal agreement with the Commission for the program. While we appreciate the partnership with the Commission and the work it does to preserve Williamson County’s history, the City needs an agreement if the program is to continue. We have asked the Historical Commission to develop a formal agreement, which needs to include parameters, an identified process/criteria, and an expanded role for the City. We will present that agreement and options to City Council for direction. In the meantime, and until that formal agreement and direction are established, the City will not be installing any additional memorial pavers through this program.
- Does the Georgetown City Council have any power to approve removal of any of the memorial bricks on the city’s sidewalk around the square?
Currently, the City does not have a formal agreement with the Historical Commission and are not in any way involved in reviewing or approving the pavers at this time. However, the City does have authority over City property, including in our rights of way. City staff will be developing options for the City Council to consider, which includes a formal agreement with Historical Commission and options for addressing the existing bricks. We expect to bring options to the Council for consideration within the next several months.
Please use the box below to submit a comment to the City Manager’s office about the memorial brick program. The City Manager’s Office will review comments received and use them to inform our options for the program. Comments also will be shared with Council prior to any discussion or decisions. Comments received are not anonymous.
You also can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.