Did you know the vast majority of DC’s houses are made of brick? That might not surprise you if you’ve walked around the city much, but this map confirms it, and shows how common other types of building materials are.

You can click this map for a larger, interactive map of all the houses in DC. Map by Kate Rabinowitz via DMPED.

Kate Rabinowitz of DataLensDC created the interactive map, which shows what materials make up the facades on DC’s houses, based on data from the city.

DC has been around for a while, so it makes sense that a lot of our buildings are made of old-school materials like brick. While new construction generally uses cheaper materials, brick was the material of choice for decades, especially in residential areas closer to the core of the city. For a long time, it was the cheapest, most fireproof construction material available, which was especially important in DC at one point.

Looking throughout the entirety of DC, some areas in the northeast and southeast quadrants have a lot of aluminum and vinyl, which are characteristic of newer construction. There are also a fair number of homes in the northwest quadrant that use wood or stucco. But for the most part, we live in a brick city.

Do you notice anything else in the map? Can you offer any more insight as to why we’ve used the materials we have?

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Arego Mitchell is a digital design pro living in the Brentwood neighborhood of DC. Originally from Arizona, Arego has spent the last three years getting to know the region, usually by bicycle. He’s passionate about design, vegetables, and the National Arboretum.