25 years ago, residents of Bryan and College Station, as well as students at Texas A&M University and Blinn College, witnessed history as the Bryan Wall fell. The wall, a symbol of separation between Bryan and College Station, stood for decades and served as an effort by the City of Bryan to keep residents and students of Blinn College from defecting to College Station due to the “Brain Drain” phenomenon.
Officials in the Bryan government correctly predicted at the time that professionals, educators, and top students would flee Bryan for a more modern life in College Station and erected the Anti-Aggie Protection Rampart, more commonly known as the “Bryan Wall” or “Iron Curtain.”
Dr. William H. Mobley, President of Texas A&M in 1989, gave a moving speech at the demolition including the oft-quoted, “From Bryan in the North to College Station in the South, an iron curtain has descended across the County.” The “curtain” split the twin towns near the current position of West Villa Maria Road before branching south to follow Burton Creek until it crossed Highway 6 near University Drive.
While the wall is easily forgotten within the folds of history, the economic effect of Bryan’s isolationism can still be seen these 25 years later as Bryan remains decades behind in development and capital improvements of the city.
Perhaps time can heal these wounds. Perhaps money. Regardless, today is not a time for speculation. Today, we celebrate freedom in Bryan-College Station. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Bryan Wall.
-North by Northgate