Project to Enhance Area Surrounding Brick Monument Receives County Funds
Posted on 07/31/2018

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announced a Newcastle project to enhance the area surrounding the historical Newcastle brick monument will benefit from funds approved by the County Council as part of the Building for Culture program.

Building for Culture provides funds for renovations to existing cultural facilities in King County, and provides an opportunity to create new ones.

“The arts are fundamental to the culture in King County,” said Dunn. “Too often these facilities are seen as non-essential when they are anything but. I am glad these deserving candidates are receiving the funds they need to upgrade their institutions.”

The City of Newcastle received $10,000 to create a park-like setting around the elaborate brick monument, which doubles as a piece of public art. The structure was constructed from bricks fabricated at the plant previously located within the Newcastle Commons development.

“The Newcastle brick monument is a cherished piece of public art in our city,” said Newcastle City Manager Rob Wyman. “It serves as an important reminder of our rich, coal mining history and simultaneously pays homage to the former Mutual Materials brick plant. The sign’s new location at the Newcastle Commons gives passersby a much closer view at the ornate details carved into the structure.”

Carvings located on the outward facing side of each leg portray the early mining history of Newcastle and gold lettering spells out Newcastle. The funding will be used to place two interpretive signs next to the installment: One that will highlight the artist, Mara Smith, and the historical aspect of the carving, and one that will focus on the history of the Mutual Materials brick plant. Two benches, a walkway, landscaping and lighting will also be installed to create the desired park-like atmosphere.

“Thank you to the Metropolitan King County Council for supporting this project through the Building for Culture program,” Wyman said. “This grant will really make a difference in transforming that spot into a welcoming space where the community can gather and learn more about Newcastle history.”

Building for Culture is a partnership between King County and 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency, using bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax to build, maintain, expand, preserve, and build new and improve existing cultural facilities.

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