Take A Deep Dive Into The History Of Chicago’s Brick Buildings


Will Quam takes a photo of the city townhouse made with yellow brick and decorative curved windows

Closeup of dark green, blue, yellow and red bricks

Church featuring arched entryways and terra cotta brick facade with yellow and green accents

Pale yellow bricks with dark yellow accent bricks forming a diamond pattern

FEED TO FOLLOW: @brickofchicago

WHO: Architectural photographer and writer Will Quam, whose Instagram account is dedicated to photos of Chicago’s brick buildings. He started the account as a middle school theater teacher, but his interest soon became his vocation with architectural walking tours and photography paying the bills.

WHAT: Although Chicago is a city that is dominated by brick because of the 1871 fire, Quam found that there’s still tremendous variety in color and material. In other cities there are long rows of houses made of uninterrupted red brick, but here each address has intentional individuality.

WHY: Quam’s background in theater and education complements his interest in architecture. People don’t expect to get excited about bricks, but he pulls them in with his delivery.

IN HIS WORDS: I go with this idea that everything is intentionally designed, and I want to capture the details that someone built with care and thought. I look for pattern and texture, light and shadow—things that are both unusual, but also exemplary of what the city looks like.”