It has been the story of our city since the tragic fire of 1811, which by the way, was just the first of life-changing conflagrations that either steered the city into a new direction or killed a dream; or caused it to be literally reborn.
Once proudly displayed at Market Square was the emblem of our hope. The phoenix bird represented a new creation out of the horror of burned out beams and livelihoods. Whether it was our harbor and downtown that was affected or a principle source of economic well-being – our mill buildings for example that burned down in the 1930’s (and many times before!); the mythic bird has proudly been the symbol of our history and its consequences.
Heck, even our beloved Robert Mills Custom House is all about triumphing over fire. President Andrew Jackson commissioned Mills to build fire-safe buildings to keep secure the treasures that may be stored in its hold. That effort is enshrined in our beautiful museum with brick floors and granite walls.
Abraham’s Bagels has elicited a response from the community that is very heartening. They literally cry for the Phoenix to rise from the ashes! Putting action to their hearts, they have posted even before the embers have grown cold, a fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/2bpb49jg
The resurrection of Abraham’s will follow a long tradition – mirroring the rebuilding of the downtown after the Great Fire. It is ironic that the firewalls that were put in after that travesty helped to contain the blaze.
May the phoenix be our citizens’ continued symbol of hope!