His request has been honored

Even Atlanta, with it comparatively young history, is not without its colorful characters. And one of Atlanta’s more interesting individuals was Jasper Newton Smith. Smith was an Atlanta businessman during the city’s reconstruction days. He owned a business at what is today the intersection of Peachtree and 14th Streets.

Jasper Smith, or Jack as he was known, was a brick maker and you can imagine that, at a time when Atlanta was rebuilding from the devastation of the Civil War, a guy who made bricks was in high demand. High enough demand to make Jack Smith wealthy. By some accounts, Smith’s company produced somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million bricks.

Jack sold his brick-making company for a handsome profit and for the rest of his life he dabbled in real estate. In fact, he owned an odd shaped parcel of land in what is now the heart of downtown Atlanta and on that land he built, by all accounts, one of Atlanta’s most interesting buildings. The structure was unique in that it fronted 3 Atlanta streets, Peachtree, Forsyth and Church Street, the present day Carnegie Way. The building was covered in granite slabs that were carved with biblical inscriptions. And, of course, as was custom in those days, there was a cornerstone and, wouldn’t you know it, that cornerstone is the subject of this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”

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