The only brick buildings you can still look at from the 1800s are the ones that were built very well - all the shoddily-constructed buildings from that era have since disappeared.
Yeah, the dorm in the linked article is totally better than that building. So while there are good buildings from that era, let's not kid ourselves, there were also a lot of horrible buildings that are rightfully no longer around. I would be willing to bet that the average quality of new construction is better now than it was then. If nothing else, the pervasive use of aluminum/vinyl siding and tar-asphalt shingle roofs yields buildings that better withstand the elements that old-style painted wood.