I just learned via Planetizen about the brick harvesting industry.
Rob Powers was researching his architecture thesis in St. Louis, when he made a discovery: local landmark buildings weren’t crumbling from age, but from brick theft.“In years of wandering about northern St. Louis, I’ve seen a sobering amount of devastation. Buildings rot, collapse, burn — all hallmarks of neglect.“Not till recently did I realize that, in fact, many of those buildings are now under deliberate attack.“Brick harvesting is nothing new to St. Louis; pallets of brick are common on the site of decayed buildings undergoing demolition. They’re shipped off to be used in new construction. But now, the practice has taken an ominous and illegal twist: the destruction of buildings soley for their brick.
Check out this site for more info, and follow the links there to EVEN MORE great info and photos.