Think pink

The concrete sidewalk across from the East Arlington Post Office is coming in pink. Although it isn’t strictly sidewalk and it isn’t very pink.

Colored concrete sidewalks just east of Grafton St.

Colored concrete sidewalks just east of Grafton St. (The “real” sidewalk is the unpoured area at upper right.)

A crew started pouring it last week.

Operation Petticoat featured a pink submarine in the Pacific theater.

Operation Petticoat featured a pink submarine in the Pacific theater.

Film buffs may remember Operation Petticoat, a 1959 Cary Grant – Tony Curtis flick in which circumstances force a U.S. submarine to sea with a coat of pink paint.

Our new sidewalk, however, is not an accident but a decorative element intended to evoke brick.

Technically, it isn’t a sidewalk at all. It’s a decorative border between the real sidewalk (not yet poured) and the street.

So there will be a two-toned effect.

Twenty years ago brick, in buildings, sidewalks, and crosswalks, was the magic urban-renewal ingredient, putting an instant genteel historical gloss on downtown streetscapes.

But brick is out of favor today. It is tough to maintain (compared to concrete anyway) and rough on mobility-impaired folks. Colored concrete, stamped in a brick pattern, is the result.

Does it succeed? It’s not really brick colored (and not really pink either), more a dusty rose. The brick pattern is not at all to scale: those “bricks” are about 2 feet wide.

The decorative border is stamped into large rectangles.

The decorative border is stamped into large rectangles in a brick-like pattern.

But the question is not “does this look like brick” but rather “is this nicer than a big swath of plain concrete?” (Or maybe, “Does this look stupid?”)

I think it’s too early to say. At any rate, I’ll need to see how the whole thing looks, finished, before passing judgment.

Last fall the contractor poured some sample blocks on the median on Orvis Rd. There were several shades of “brick.”

Swatches of patterend and colored pavement in display last fall on Orvis Rd.

Swatches of patterned and colored pavement in display last October 30 on Orvis Rd.

Someone picked this one.

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2 comments so far

  1. Susan Stamps on

    I have a feeling it will look really nice.

  2. Dennis Dale on

    The colored pepto-bismol-pink concrete will only fade in time to an even lighter and more goofy pink – what were the engineers (?) or town thinking? It will always look like a poor substitute for something real. Regular concrete would have looked fine. What a waste.


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