Term: brick (architecture)
a construction method that employed rectangular blocks made from pressed and hardened clay. Brick making was intially done by small-scale, locally-based operations with bricks handcrafted; scores of brickyards scattered throughout the state each provided slightly different hues of brick throughout the 19th century. The lake clays along Lake Michigan produced light cream and buff-colored brick when properly made, while clays found elsewhere in the state produced various shades of red and brown brick. Outstanding among the early brick was that of Hustisford in Dodge County and Mineral Point in Iowa County because of good quality and exceptionally pleasant color in a blend of vermilion and burnt orange. A more uniform red color was produced in brickyards of the Duck Creek area near Green Bay, in Forestville, Door County and Menomonie in Dunn County. Milwaukee's first cream brick structure was erected in 1836; by 1853, six million bricks were being produced in Milwaukee kilns annually. The brickyard of George Burnham and Son became the city's largest producer of cream colored brick, manufacturing fifteen million bricks in 1880. The highest quality bricks were classified as "pressed;" these were smooth, very uniform in size and color, and extremely durable; "common" brick was usually sold ungraded and displayed inconsistencies in size and color. By the late nineteenth century, competition from Chicago firms and a shift in taste in favor of dark masonry led to the demise of Milwaukee's cream-colored brick industry. Another distinctive display of brick craftsmanship is found in the Belgian enclaves of Brown, Door, and Kewaunee counties. Farmhouses in the area were veneered with locally produced red brick, while cream brick was imported to accent window and door openings. The resulting polychromy is a distinctive feature of this rural landscape. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org
View pictures relating to architecture at Wisconsin Historical Images.
[Source: Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1986).]