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.


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.


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


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


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



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


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


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

2 Responses to “The Piedmont streetscape”

  1. Benjamin Says:

    Any idea why the sidewalks are red? I’ve noticed this extends to stoops and driveways in the lower part of Piedmont, and down the hill through the Oakland neighborhoods on the north side of the lake.

  2. Andrew Says:

    I think it must have been a city ordinance, or at least a stipulation of the developer.

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