If you want to build a wall or pave a boulevard today, the last material that you’d choose would be brick.
That wasn’t always the case.
In the Illinois town of Alton, where I grew up, the streets aren’t paved with gold. They’re paved with dark red bricks. Ditto for most of the majestic buildings in town.
It’s an ideal building material for strong, skilled men in a time of few machines. That era has passed which means the exhausting and dangerous work of laying bricks represents a fraction of commercial and residential construction.
Safer and better is progress, which I’m all for.
However, there’s nothing like the synergy of thousands of bricks, tons of mortar, and skilled craftwork.
This portrait, taken in Alton, contains a background element of masonry excellence. If you want your own you’ll need to find one already in existence because you can’t duplicate it at any price.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.