A photo of a multicolored brick building
Photograph: Will Quam

Instagram Handle: @brickofchicago
Followers: 19,800

Who: Will Quam

How it started: Moving here from Minnesota to work in theater, he noticed bungalows, courtyard apartments, and two-flats all built of brick, due to the Great Chicago Fire. He began documenting them in 2016.

What makes Chicago brick distinct: It’s the supply of clay (salmon pink when fired) left by glaciers millenia ago. “In certain places, you might need to mix stuff in,” Quam says. “Here, the glaciers left a perfect mix, in immense volume. After the fire, Chicago was able to pump out more brick than any other city in the country.”

Favorite buildings: Quam adores churches, especially St. Stanislaus Kostka, constructed in 1881, and schools, like Lawndale Community Academy, built in 1926 with colorful brick and terra cotta.