August 21, 2014
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How many bricks? Events, Miscellaneous

RIT is preparing to welcome parents, alumni and friends back to campus this week for Brick City Homecoming. The passion and pagaentry behind this annual celebration of our extended campus community grows each year.

I think it’s cool how the university embraces its “Brick City” reputation! Not too many years ago, the physical landscape of our campus was the source of some embarrassment. But lately, a variety of major improvement projects and some simple attitude adjustments have changed all that.

This past weekend, RIT celebrated the conclusion to its successful $300 million campaign with a festive gala. In contribution to the event, I helped produce a video presentation highlighting the campaign’s impact. During the interviews we taped with students, alumni, faculty, administrators and trustees, we had some fun asking participants, “How many bricks are at Brick City?” It’s an absurd question, of course, but everyone pondered the tally in high spirit. The compilation of these moments created much laughter among the gala’s attendees, truly one of the highlights from the evening’s festivities. The stigma that was Brick City is history.

I guess the point I’d like to make is, as you enjoy Brick City Homecoming this weekend, take pride and pay homage to the brick. Embrace its importance to the fabric of this beautiful campus. It’s just one of the many features that makes RIT unique.

How many bricks are at Brick City? Well, in case you’re ever asked, it’s 14,673,565. (Seriously!)

 
  1. RIT Alum
    Oct 03

    Here's a few more fast facts from a former campus tour guide:
    - The bricks used in most of the major campus buildings are composed of a special brick, patented as "RIT Brick Orange," making our campus all the more unique.
    - Bricks used in the original campus structures (Eastman, Booth, Gannett, Wallace, and a few others) contain individual serial numbers. This practice was eventually halted, possibly because it wasn't needed or they simply lost count.
    - The collective campus is the second-largest brick structure in the world, behind the Great Wall of China.

  2. Silandara
    Oct 05

    Does that include all the new brick walk ways and quad areas, too? And who keeps track of them all?

  3. Paul
    Oct 05

    Yeah, I was kind of waiting for that question. Jim Yarrington, director of campus planning and design services, calculated the total back in February. It includes all bricks incorporated into the campus landscape. I expect that the figure is even higher now with the completion of the Center for the Center for Biotechnology Education & Training facility. On the other hand, we did lose some brinks in the renovations to the Lowenthal Building this summer, so maybe the number isn't drastically different.

  4. Mike Saffran
    Oct 05

    My guess is that the walkways and quad areas don't count in the official total because technically they use concrete pavers (like my backyard patio), not bricks, strictly speaking (however, they are "bricks," in an informal sense, so who knows?).

  5. Mike Saffran
    Oct 26

    We know the answer!

    But you must listen to the Oct. 26 episode of "Dateline: RIT - The Podcast" to find out ;-)

  6. Bill Johnson
    Oct 29

    Patented bricks? No. Same category as the tunnels that connect the residence/academic areas.

  7. Jared Lyon
    Oct 30

    Second-largest brick structure in the world!? That's just an urban legend. First, RIT as a whole would never be considered a single structure by any world-record-assigning association. Second, the Great Wall of China is NOT even a brick structure. It's stone. So how can RIT be second only to it? :)

  8. Paul Stella
    Oct 30

    Wow, fascinating to see it's been 3 years since I posted this! It's actually a great opportunity to update RIT's official 'brick count.' As of July 2009, the total number reached 15,099,716, according to Jim Yarrington, director of campus planning, design and construction. And with Global Village and the Vignelli Design Center under construction, that number will only go higher. Check back with me next fall! :)

  9. Sam
    Dec 08

    Actually, the Stupa in Sri Lanka used 93.3 million bricks.

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