Bricks from burned historic Hopkinsville building to be repurpos - WSMV News 4

Bricks from burned historic Hopkinsville building to be repurposed

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About 10,000 bricks will be donated to build the Jeffers Bend patio. (WSMV) About 10,000 bricks will be donated to build the Jeffers Bend patio. (WSMV)

In July of last year, a fire destroyed a 130-year-old building with significance to a city's black history. Now, there's a plan to keep that building's legacy alive.

"Coming down Virginia Street, looking to the left, the building always was a fixture," said Charles Turner of Hopkinsville. "Now it's just a vacant spot."

Since the 1880s, it was part of downtown Hopkinsville. Now a space has been empty since a fire took the Postell Building, named after original owner Peter Postell.

"He stepped up the standard of a lot of African Americans that followed him," Turner said. "He not only provided money to individuals of the African American community but the community at large."

Turner's heard the story of Postell, a former slave who went on to run a grocery store, furniture store, saloon and barber shop. He's known as one of Kentucky's earliest wealthy black residents.

"He being one of the most outstanding individuals, black or white, to the city Hopkinsville, we need to maintain his contribution to this community," Turner said.

Turner has a plan for that. He's with Jeffers Bend, a Hopkinsville environmental center.

Turner approached attorney Daniel Hicks, the owner of the building, about taking the Postell Building bricks for a new project.

"About 10,000 bricks from that building are being donated to Jeffers Bend to construct this Jeffers Bend patio," he said.

Turner said Jeffers Bend is taking donations for a wall with a patio inside, surrounded by a botanical garden. He said any donation above $1,000 will get that donor a plaque on the lab building.

Turner said a marker next to the wall will share the story of Postell, a man who came from nothing and built himself into a success despite all that was working against him.

"He was trying to improve the state of life of African Americans within this community," Turner said.

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