Tucson Arizona Values its Sidewalk Contractor Stamps

September 17, 2010

Readers of this blog should now know that I have a strange interest in Sidewalk Markers and Contractor Stamps.   I first discovered the existence of these historical records about a year ago when I happened to look down and notice a Brass Sidewalk Marker placed by the St. Louis Sidewalk Company.  Ever since I have been paying much closer attention to the sidewalks I walk down.

A Sidewalk in St. Louis

Unfortunately, I have not had much luck finding more in St. Louis (despite a lot of looking) but have stumbled upon a wide variety of Sidewalk Markers and Contractor Stamps old and new this summer in Chicago, Philadelphia, Spokane, Colorado Springs, Denver, Albuquerque, and now Tucson (pretty much every city I’ve visited this summer).  Over the course this process, I’ve developed a pretty decent eye for spotting these sidewalk markers and stamps but have continually found new things.  This week was one of the most groundbreaking for me.  I found a place where people actually seem to care about Sidewalk Contractor Stamps, and have preserved them, even when the sidewalk that contains them was in need of replacement.

White & Miller 1929 - Preserved

To me, this tiny piece of preservation is huge.  An 80 year old stamp in concrete is a testament to American craftsmanship and a symbol of pride.  I hope these sidewalks hold up and can be used for generations to come.  Just around the corner from the White and Miller stamp is a long stretch of sidewalk built by the WPA.

USA|WPA - Tucson, AZ

Ironically, at a demonstration in Downtown Tucson that day, citizens held signs asking to “Bring Back the WPA.”

Bring Back the WPA!

The fruits of the WPA are still alive and well today!  I love seeing sidewalk markers old and new proclaiming the completion of a worthy project to be enjoyed by all.  When time and progress call for the replacement of the old, preservation of the site’s history (even when the site is a sidewalk) is a worthwhile undertaking.


  1. You may like my ‘blog on the subject of “Written In Stone”

    • Thanks for the link Mark! It’s really nice to see that others are interested in sidewalk markers and stamps.

  2. […] Spokane, Colorado Springs, Denver, Albuquerque and Tucson in search of more. Here’s the link. And the City of Portland, Oregon has found sidewalk contractors’ stamps to be so significant […]

  3. I’m not sure if this is an ordinance or what, but all the old sidewalk stamps here in Tucson are still there. As noted, even when they reconstruct the entire old sidewalk they leave the stamp. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the old sidewalks are in a lot better shape (even 80 or 90 years later) than newer sidewalks (some only 5 years old). The newer ones are all cracked and chipped and washed out. They must have really known what they were doing back then!

  4. Saw the USA WPA in Tucson today….love it!!

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