Landscapers began laying engraved bricks honoring more than 2,800 women in the Plaza of Heroines in front of Carrie Chapman Catt Hall yesterday.
The bricks were purchased by friends and admirers of the women, and are among the nearly 8,000 bricks that will pave the floor of the plaza, said Dayl Inglett of Central Landscaping.
"This will be an ongoing process," said Inglett, "I believe they are still selling the bricks."
The bricks will be taken out and engraved as they are being purchased after the plaza is completed, Inglett said. "The work will be spread over the month because of the work on the stairs," he said, "also, some people want their bricks to be grouped together."
Inglett said the bricks come in different sizes, ranging from normal clay bricks to larger granite pieces that will encircle the clay bricks, and the largest ones that will serve as corner pieces.
"There will be a granite piece 4.5 feet squared which will be a memorial to Carrie Chapman Catt," said Inglett, "and a large piece with inscriptions about the League of Women Voters."
There will also be 16 benches encircling the plaza, Inglett said, two of which already have inscriptions on them. A computer registry is to be installed inside the building which will give visitors information on any of the women honored in the plaza, Inglett said.
Steve Sullivan of the Iowa State News Service said that the cost of the bricks and pavers range from $100 to $1,000, and the benches cost $10,000. The ISU Foundation is handling the sale, he said.
The $5 million renovation of Catt Hall is nearing completion. The hall, named after the founder of the League of Women Voters, and the Plaza will be dedicated in a week's worth of activities beginning Oct. 2, Sullivan said. "Molly Ivans, a syndicated columnist, and Chief Wilma Mankiller, the first woman ever elected chief of the Cherokee nation, will be speaking at the event," he said.
The activities are to celebrate Catt's legacy and the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the vote, he said.
Sullivan, who is also a member of the committee in charge of the events, said "the bricks are to extend the idea of honoring Catt; it extends the idea of honoring women. The great thing about the project is that so many people are involved in it."
Sullivan said some of the tributes are "very moving. There is a cross-section represented here," Sullivan said, "daughters, mothers, wives, co-workers… There are people from all walks of life," he said.