How Portlanders are ensuring development won’t destroy this neighborhood’s cool stories

“On this spot in 1942, Tony played his first game of craps. He was twelve years old.”

“On this spot every day, more people than you know get sober.”

“On this spot in 1988, Jay and George York inspired the replanting of the neighborhood.”

“On this spot in 2014, Eden wondered if adolescence would ever end.”

Walk around the India Street neighborhood in Portland, and you’ll see bricks imprinted with these sentences and many more. They’re part of the Portland Brick public art project’s “elegant solution to make stories material,” as co-creator Elise Pepple put it in this TedxDirigo talk:

Take a few minutes to listen to her describe the need to honor and “not erase what was” as development shapes Maine’s largest city.

“I hope you will live the stories that make for a better collective poem. I hope you play your version of craps. I hope you stand up for what you believe in. Because you shape and make the memories of this city,” she says.

You can check out the stories on each brick, and where to find them, by clicking here. Portland Brick has also collected some of the stories in audio form. 

What’s your Portland story, and would you print it on a brick?