The History of the Brick Companies
The Brick Companies was founded in 1892 as the Washington Brick and Terra Cotta Company and was located along the Washington City Canal in Southwest Washington, D.C. For decades, the company’s sole business was manufacturing brick and terra cotta pipe. In 1917, the company purchased a new plant along the banks of the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. But after a massive fire destroyed the plant in 1939, the company never made another brick. However, the fire sparked changes that would ultimately take the company in new directions and allow it to grow and thrive in a variety of businesses.
For many years after the fire, the property lay mostly empty with a few leasing opportunities that included the Jubal Early Homes project during World War II, which temporarily housed Pentagon employees for many years, the Airport Drive-In Movie Theater in the late 1940’s and a successful bowling alley in the 1950’s.
In 1964, Mr. Robert Smith approached The Brick Companies about leasing land to build an apartment building where the brick yard once flourished. When that project was completed, a large crystal chandelier was hung in the lobby and the building was named Crystal House.
This project sparked a partnership between Mr. Smith and The Brick Companies that led to six office buildings and two more apartment buildings along with underground retail space and parking known as Crystal Plaza, completed in 1968. Crystal Towers and the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel soon followed in the area, now known as Crystal City. These wonderful partnerships provided the foundation and financial platform that has allowed the company to invest and diversify into golf courses, marinas and residential, commercial and retail real estate.
In 2002, TBC moved from Washington, D.C. to its current corporate headquarters in Edgewater, Maryland to consolidate management that had expanded into three states.
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