WPC Orange 2: California’s First Brick House

Californias 1st brick building Monterey State Historic ParkCalifornia’s first “fired brick” house —  part of the Monterey State Historic Park’s buildings in downtown old Monterey — also fits right in the WordPress Photo Challenge theme of orange.

The house was built in 1847.  Before construction of this brick structure, most homes in the area were made from adobe — blocks of sun-dried mud.

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From the HistoricMonterey.org website:

All Monterey’s early structures were built of adobe (sun-dried mud) blocks. Walls as thick as three feet were needed to support second story floors.

Adobe buildings required plastering on exterior surfaces to keep out damaging winter rains, otherwise the walls were likely to crumble.

 In 1847, Gallant Dickerson arrived in Monterey to introduce a new building technique to California: the art of fired clay brickmaking. Fired brick’s increased strength allowed multiple-storied buildings with standard wall widths; fired brick was also water-resistant and required little or no surface treatment.

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Dickerson fired thousands of clay blocks into rock-hard bricks, and with them built one of the first fired-brick buildings in California. He completed only the portion of First Brick House that stands today before moving his family to the Sierra Nevadas in search of gold.

To see other entries and interpretations on the photo theme orange, click here.

10 thoughts on “WPC Orange 2: California’s First Brick House

  1. Thank you for the visit and comment, Ben. I was surprised to learn too, that there were not fired brick homes from earlier…especially that there are so many brick buildings in San Francisco, where I use to live. But even in San Francisco, the brick structures were built about 1 year after this one — and then many were destroyed by the big 1906 earthquake, and most likely, the ones that were not reinforced were destroyed in the Lome Prieta earthquake in 1989. And yes, the amazing part is that it is still standing.

    I’m learning to take better photos through these challenges 🙂 .

  2. That is indeed a very old house, and it is still standing strong. Then again, as you mentioned, brick is strong and can hold for a very long time to come. Here in Australia, brick houses are still quite popular – you can find quite a lot of them in the outer suburbs. Very charming, just like the one in your photos 🙂 Love the fourth photo on the right (from the top) where the flowers on it looks fluffy. Do you know what these flowers are?

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Now that you are here, I would love to know what you think...comments are always appreciated.