Friday, February 13, 2009

Sidewalk Scrabble

Beginning in 1907 and continuing up until 1937 , the city of Victoria installed buff blue ceramic tiles (made in Zanesville Ohio) to spell out the names of streets. In part the idea was to thwart hooligans from stealing street-name signs from utility poles. Some tiles, in high pedestrian foot traffic areas, became damaged or vandalized.In the past they were often destroyed during sidewalk reconstruction. However some, like this example on Clare St., found preservation and, in this case, a new life in a walkway.Nowadays when the city does sidewalk reconstruction the street-name tiles are cut out with the surrounding concrete and embedded in the new cement as was done at this intersection:Today there are only 62 left in the city.

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