Ball State students to come up with ideas for reusing brick plant at Medora

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For nearly 90 years, a crew of about 45 workers turned clay from the Medora area into bricks that would adorn the exteriors of many buildings, including those on college campuses in Indiana and surrounding states.

Although the equipment used to make those bricks was sold after the last brick was made on the day before Thanksgiving in 1990, many of the structures — including 11 brick kilns — used in the production process remain.

A group hoping to turn that site into a tourist attraction to bring more people to the small western Jackson County community recently turned to some Ball State University students for help.

Members of Save the Medora Brick Plant recently sat down with students from the university’s landscape architect department at the Medora Senior Citizens Center.

The first order of business was finding out a little bit about the people involved in trying to save the plant, said Peter Ellery, an instructor of landscape architecture at Ball State in Muncie.

“We’re conducting some preliminary interviews and some focus groups with the idea of determining what it is they would like to see done with the brick kilns and why the want it done,” Ellery said.

Ellery, who is married to former Brownstown resident Jane Gillespie, said the hope is that the input from those involved in the project would give the students some inspiration and ideas as they began working on some design ideas for the six-acre site.

Read the full story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.