Reid restores West End community’s entrance

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, February 8, 2022

SALISBURY — For Lovie Reid, they were more than just bricks in the wall.

By rebuilding the brick wall that stood at the entrance to the West End last week, the lifelong mason was refreshing the community’s sense of place. With some help, Reid started early last week by building interior layers of the wall before moving to the more meticulously crafted exterior.

“You know, signs, they mean something,” Reid said.

On Aug. 17, the wall was damaged when it was struck by a stolen car. A Salisbury Police report said an unidentified man stole a white Toyota Corolla near the intersection of Brenner Avenue and Statesville Boulevard, sped off after being spotted by the vehicle’s owner, attempted to turn left onto West Monroe Street and collided with the wall.

The man ran from the vehicle after the crash and hasn’t been arrested, according to the Salisbury Police Department.

“It tore a column and about a third of the wall down,” said Stephen Brown, a landscape architect and project manager for the city of Salisbury.

Insurance is covering the cost of repairs, but most of the bricks comprising the wall will be a slightly different color than the originals, which were paid for with help from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation. The new wall was built on top of the old foundation.

Reid said he didn’t mind building the wall second time. He’s been a brick mason for decades, and continues to do it because “there’s something different every day.” It gives him pride, too, that projects built 40 years ago are still standing strong, including the Livingstone College perimeter fence.

Reid was joined last week by grandson Russell L. Smyre Jr., who’s a mechanical engineer and took two days off to help.

Smyre said the sign brings additional character to the West End community and is something to be proud of.