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Saturday, October 17, 2009

They left their mark on Echo Park & Silver Lake

Contractors, like artists, like to sign their work. That's what photographer Roy Randall discovered on his walks through Echo Park and Silver Lake, where concrete streets, sidewalks, stairways and curbs are littered with the stamps of contractors who helped build the city decades ago.

The stamps can be found across the city but it seems as if the practice is not followed as much by today's contractors. Randall, who goes by the Flickr alias Roy Ubu not only took pictures of many of the stamps - pictured here in a gallery -from the 1920s and 1930s - but also located them on a map, along with photos of stairways and other sites. He also included some images of more recent and personal imprints left by residents. Randall explains his interest:

"I do a lot of walking about Silver Lake, Echo Park and adjacent. If you look down as you walk, you'll see these imprints all over the sidewalks and streets. I assume they mostly date from the original paving of these areas. They date these areas as being developed in the twenties and thirties which jives with what little I know about the neighborhoods. I just decided to spend a day shooting things under my feet.

I only shot ones that have dates on them, but there are hundreds more without dates. Most of them have the contractor's logo facing both directions and also many "Inspected by" and some City Inspector's name. There are also more recent stamps on patches done by Southern California Gas and PacBell."

Photo by Roy Randall/Flickr

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