Wednesday morning was a glorious time for those on the Miles Davis Memorial Statue Committee when ground was broken in Downtown Alton for brick placement.

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The bricks surrounding the statue are completely sold out and more than $100,000 has been raised for the project.

Davis, the legendary jazz musician, was born in Alton.

Miles Davis Memorial Statue committee chair Pat Ackman said it was exciting breaking ground on April Fool’s Day. She said this is the first phase of the project.

“They will be laying bricks once we get the foundation for the site in place,” she said. “There will be foundation work done. They will put a sand base in and a foundation to get everything supported correctly, then start laying bricks.”

Ackman and the others on the committee hope to raise another $20,000 to have sufficient funds to complete the statue.

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“It is amazing; we have raised a little over $100,000 since we started fund raising in August 2013,” she said. “I feel it will be a beautiful addition to the downtown area and hopefully encourage other business owners to look to the future for improvement. This will be the only publicly displayed statue of Miles Davis in this country.”

Alton Mayor Brant Walker said the recognition of Miles Davis was long overdue in the Alto ncoummunity.

He said he was thankful a great artist - Preston Jackson - was the one selected to do the statue. He also praised Ackman and the Miles Davis Memorial Statue Committee for their work in getting the project to the level it is today.

Alton Main Street Director Sara McGibney said she was absolutely thrilled to see the work begin on the statue and said it was a long time coming.

“We had a half-dozen committee members here and we are all excited and have been hoping this day would happen,” she said.

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