St. Louis’ Brick Building Legacy Explored on Special Hour-Long Program

Posted by Dale Fisher on

Nine Network Airs Documentary Brick by Chance and Fortune on August 20

St. Louis, MO — August 14, 2015 — Clay, the bane of gardeners in metropolitan St. Louis, is also the salvation of the local building industry. When baked, this abundant natural resource makes bricks, which are literally the building blocks of the distinctive, beautiful and envied architecture found throughout the city and region.

Brick by Chance and Fortune, an hour-long documentary by local filmmaker Bill Streeter, affectionately showcases the many stately brick structures in St. Louis while chronicling the city’s rich history as both a producer and user of a building material that’s as lovely as it is sturdy.  It airs Thursday, August 20 at 8:00 p.m. on Nine PBS.

Once a major player in the U.S. brick-making industry, St. Louis still boasts countless brick houses, from small working-class bungalows to the stately mansions of the Central West End and University City. Brick by Chance and Fortune artfully illustrates the diversity and beauty of the city’s striking brick edifices. Says historian and author NiNi Harris in the film, “Even before the Civil War, this was a brick city…It gives St. Louis a permanence, an architecture like other cities do not have…It is what makes St. Louis special and unique.”

Also interviewed are Michael Allen, founder, Preservation Research Office; Larry Giles, president, Building Arts Foundation; architect Paul Hohman; state geologist Mimi Garstang; and Bill Allen, former president of Hydraulic Press Brick Co., among others. The original soundtrack is by local muscians Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, Rum Drum Ramblers, Pokey LaFarge and Irene Allen. 

About the Nine Network of Public Media

The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life, including four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine Kids), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, and the Public Media Commons. The Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our mission of bringing St. Louis together as we connect our region to the world and the world to St. Louis.

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(314) 512-9117