The Piedmont streetscape

I’ve taken some walks through the beautiful city of Piedmont recently, getting a preliminary handle on its geology, and if you’re a fit person this is a fun walking town. There are some notable things about the sidewalks that appear to apply to the whole town, or at least around its main axis.

For one thing, all the work is of high quality, although for some reason the concrete is usually tinted. In Oakland, only in the Havenscourt neighborhood are the sidewalks tinted so consistently.

piedmont-red-sidewalk

The pink kind of clashes with all the green — and I must say that unlike every single neighborhood in Oakland, hills and flats, the residents aren’t making much visible effort to save water in their landscaping.

The mature street trees have heaved up the sidewalks everywhere, so they have to be beveled fairly seriously. That helps prevent pedestrian injuries, even though walkers are pretty thin on the ground. Renewing these sidewalks will be a major civic project, but I’m sure Piedmont will do the job right to preserve the town’s valuable character.

piedmont-walk

The district east of La Salle Avenue has an impressive sidewalk design that involves a golden tinted concrete, consistent scoring and nice inset tiles.

piedmont-sidewalk

Apparently J. H. Fitzmaurice was the producer, to judge from the stamps on Somerset Way.

piedwalk-fitz.jpg

Finally, only the best cement contractors were hired. Just a few different guys, all major.

piedmont-henning

piedmont-fitzmaurice

This Prentice & Kaiser mark at 223 Mountain Avenue is pristine, so I had to include it.

prentice-kaiser-piedmont

And this A. Casqueiro mark at 107 Estates Drive has an unusual configuration, so it gets included too.

1937vvvv

The work dates from the 1920s and 1930s, the high-water mark of Oakland’s sidewalk contractor community.

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