Alleyway. Camas, Washington -- two-story exterior tile wall
Hollow building tiles were used in this country from the late 1800s on through the early 1950s. What few tile structures we see today are left from that time period. As a result we are seeing less and less of them as our built environment undergoes scraping of old buildings for other uses such as strip malls and housing subdivisions.
In the photo above is a shot of a building exterior using hollow brick tiles. The wall is in excellent shape even though it is anywhere from sixty to a hundred years old.
The tiles were durable and displayed a fine earthy patina. Several U.S. companies manufactured them -- see below ad for NATCO HOLLOW TILE.
If you have some interest in this early trade check out this book online from the JSTOR archives. Fun to page through their entire book here titled History of Structural Hollow Clay Tile in the United States.