by Michael R. Allen
After over a year of research, filming, interviews and editing, Bill Streeter is set to show the world his first feature film, Brick By Chance And Fortune. Bill’s film is a humane endeavor, starting with a very moving story of personal love for brick architecture from artist Sheila Harris and moving through topics as diverse as the history of St. Louis clay mining, the impact of hydraulic press brick production on vernacular architecture, historic preservation and — as sung out powerfully in the soundtrack by Pokey LaFarge — brick thieves.
Above all else, this film is a look at the human dimension — why we built such great architecture in fired clay, and why we so fiercely defend brick buildings today. Bill uses interviews to form a narrative arc that joins different voices that bring together the variable parts of our city’s indelible link to a seeming common building material.