One of the things I love about Chicago is the widespread use of brick (not surprising for a city with a world famous fire in its history). Not only that, but Chicago features a diversity of brick in type, bond (layout pattern), and color. Of course I’m not the only one that has been intrigued… Read More Featured: Brick of Chicago
Labor Day may be best known these days as the last breath of summer, that last three-day weekend before we dive into fall, made for last beach trips and barbecues. However, the holiday that gives us this three-day weekend was created with another intent: to recognize the labor movement and the achievements of the American… Read More National Park Feature: Pullman National Monument
You’ve seen them before: huge mural advertisements on the sides of brick buildings in big cities. In cities like Chicago, once you start looking you see them everywhere. Even in Seattle they are not hard to find if you have a good vantage point. And be honest, you like them. You forget how old buildings are… Read More Resurrecting the Ghost Sign
I do not have a favorite time period or architectural style (how could you possibly choose?) but I will admit, I have a few particular buildings that I consider to be favorites. One of them is hidden in the middle of downtown Chicago, over-shadowed (literally) by several neighboring buildings. It is a sixteen-floor brick building… Read More Monadnock: the Last of the Brick Skyscrapers
Stadium High School looks like everything but a high school. Locally nicknamed “Brown Castle,” the school certainly looks more the part of a castle than a school. The school is so picturesque, it has starred in multiple movies including the 1999 romantic comedy classic, 10 Things I Hate About You (Health Ledger, Julia Stiles,… Read More Castle, Movie Set… High School?
Looking around the corner of a building can reveal a lot. For this Pullman row house, it makes visible the contrast between the common brick (locally sourced and used for construction) and the facing brick (brought in from an out-of-state brick factory where consistency, size, and smoothness are better controlled). The more expensive houses have… Read More Looking Around Corners in Pullman, IL
Brick buildings are still popular in many places. For example, their stately presence and warm red coloring almost expected at places like college campuses. Today, however, you can expect that these buildings are not structurally brick buildings. To build a building that is structurally brick not only requires exponentially more bricks, it also inhibits things like the design of… Read More Brick By Brick