Brick by Brick

That front I told you about last week brought lingering cold weather. My fave photographer Bill Maroldo and I did go to Texas City last Saturday but by afternoon the cold rain had ended the adventure. Even hard core photographers have limits. So I have been inside staying warm and playing with my archived photos.

And a theme developed.

It could be because my sister is struggling with choosing the brick for her new house, but I started thinking about brick.

Most houses here in Houston are brick, a lot of mid-sized office buildings, even some of the taller ones. Remember the fantastic brick work in that lovely colonnade at Rice University I showed you a few weeks back? And the four story urbex warehouse was all brick. I was surprised how many photos I have with wonderful expanses of brick.

Do you think the original builders imagined this tenant?  Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT  1/500 sec. f/2.8 ISO 100 HDR

Do you think the original builders imagined this tenant?

 Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT  1/500 sec. f/2.8 ISO 100 HDR

This is from a visit last July to the warehouse district on the East side of downtown Houston.  I was just by there recently and the colorful skull graphic is painted on a rolling shutter. That time it was partially raised as the Art Gallery and Tattoo Parlor (I cant help it, I guess they aren't called that any more but that phrase is stuck in my head) was open for business. It is called the Los Muertos Tattoo Studio in case you want to visit. 

This establishment is housed in the Erie City Iron Works building which dates back to 1906 and article I linked to says it might be haunted.  

I wish some one would fix that drain pipe Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/160 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

I wish some one would fix that drain pipe

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/160 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

Around the corner, the building shows it utilitarian side. Back in the day, trains delivered iron and steel to this storage facility for the never-ending building of Houston. This is a panorama of two shots; I love how the columns and graduated facade are accentuated by the light and shadows. The 3-row arched window lintels are wonderful. A few of the wooden windows have survived.

At the present, this part of the building is used for film studios, art galleries and other artistic endeavors.

A few blocks away I found this beauty. Look at those arches! And the two storied windows!

Notice the gap cut in the metal awning for the fire escape exit Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/320 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

Notice the gap cut in the metal awning for the fire escape exit

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/320 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

This is on Wood Street before it morphs into Walnut. The white building next door is used for art studios, but this brick building might be offices. More than likely just storage. The City of Houston has added their ubiquitous Parking Meter Pay Stations the street so evidently it gets some visitors. 

Think of rust as being a decorative addition to the composition Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/320 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

Think of rust as being a decorative addition to the composition

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/320 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

The image above is a panorama of two shots that have been straightened plus some added post-processing. The arched brick lintels are 5 rows deep plus two continuous rows across the facade.

Fire escapes remind me of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

Fire escapes remind me of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/5.0 ISO 1000

I think this is part of the same block, but I am not sure. I know I got out of the truck and took this standing in the middle of the street.  It has smaller scale arches over the single windows. Looks like the ground floor has been modernized a bit with the decorative shutters. Perhaps the original windows in the upper stories have been replaced as well judging by the addition of filler materials. You can faintly make out where the name of the establishment had been painted along the top.

Looking into the past...

Looking into the past...

Now we are in time-travel country as this is a composite of a white arched top building plus the above brick three story. These old structures are going fast; making room for high-rises and townhouses. 

If you squint a bit and use your imagination, you can see busy workers on the sidewalks and in the streets, automobiles, streetcars and horse-drawn transport.  

Angles and squares Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/100 sec. f/3.2 ISO 1000

Angles and squares

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/100 sec. f/3.2 ISO 1000

This is from inside the urbex warehouse from a few weeks ago. Not all of the surfaces have graffiti improvements. The wooden floor was laid on the diagonal and that broken window would fit in the front of the building. Those pipes are probably conduit for electrical; I don't think the building has sprinklers. 

Castle Church Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/640 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1000

Castle Church

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/640 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1000

This incredible brick church is in Texas City. It is boarded up and not in use. Perhaps it was abandoned because it was so ugly? Those turrets are only half-cylinders; they are flat on the backside. It boasts a screened-in porch and crenelated walls. The wooden stairs are covered with green indoor-outdoor carpet which gives the appearance of algae. Or maybe it is algae and I didn't look closely. Most of the stained glass windows are covered with Plexiglas for protection.

I have not been able to find out any history on this remarkable building. There are two other active churches on the same street (Methodist and Baptist) so perhaps there were just not enough worshipers. 

Heading out of downtown

Heading out of downtown

And to wind this up, here is a time-travel mashup of a transit stop of the Houston METRORail downtown with its fountains and brick paving and one of its destinations, the lovely brick buildings of Rice University

Is your house brick? Did you know in the heyday of factory building in England bright red brick was chosen for construction to make the buildings more visible in the heavy fog? What color brick do you think my sister should choose?

Let me know in the comments below. Try Chrome if you have problems or even Firefox. Looks like Android devices also work.  Sorry, they are still working hard on the problem; I have had several mails from them.

Related Adventures: Too Sunny for Birds, Time Traveling, Not a Bird in Sight