Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Time-traveling by looking at sidewalks

As someone who enjoys walking, and has spent his whole life in cities, with sidewalks, I often look down and see the date stamp on the concrete, and it makes me ponder the history of that area.

The neighborhood where I live in Glendale, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) was built in the early 1980s. I know that the house that I'm in was built in 1985. And so the sidewalks, which were built at the same time, are date stamped right around that time. Several of the date stamps, as you can see by the photo at the top of this post, have the "4" drawn in, as presumably they didn't have that number handy when the concrete was wet. The concrete seems have held up fine for decades, although part of the date stamp being drawn like that makes me wonder just how great the quality control was for "New System Concrete Inc." I'm sure it's fine. DBA Construction Inc., which updated the corners in 2019, seems to have been more organized.

I've always enjoyed looking at the date stamps on sidewalks. The oldest ones that I've seen in Phoenix are downtown, on Monroe in front of the two old churches there. I haven't taken a look in years, so the concrete may have been replaced. Concrete doesn't last forever, you know, not even in the desert!

As I was out walking this morning, I noticed that Double L.L. Contracting actually did have a "4" for their 1984 date stamp. As while I taking that picture, I looked up and tried to imagine what the neighborhood looked like while the concrete was still wet. I'm sure you could have seen a long way, past the new houses. Old-timers must have walked by shaking their heads, remembering when all of this was open land, or farmland, or desert. I'm not really sure what was here. I do know that it was the original northwest corner of the Sahuaro Ranch, which went from Olive to Peoria and from 59th Avenue to 67th Avenue, when William Bartlett owned it. Of course over the years most of the land was sold off, which produced the suburbia which is where I live. A small amount of the historic ranch has been preserved nearby, and when I get tired of sidewalks, and suburbia, I walk over there.

Thank you for walking with me, and looking at sidewalks!

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