School Street Sidewalks and Retaining Walls – Colfax CA


The former Colfax Grammar School (now Sierra Vista Community Center) and environs were developed by the Work Projects Administration (WPA) in 1940. Both the surrounding sidewalks and retaining walls bear multiple “WPA 1940” imprint stamps. One instance is shield-shaped.

Locations and coordinates of sidewalk imprint stamps (on the north side of School Street):

  • (S1) Eastern end of retaining wall: 39.102562, -120.952843
  • (S2) School Street building entrance: 39.102710, -120.953671

Interestingly, WPA stamp “S2”, which faces south, away from the former school entrance, is adjacent to a second, fainter, impression. That stamp, which faces east, appears almost as though it had been created in error, and then corrected with the ‘firm’ imprint.

Locations and coordinates of retaining wall imprint stamps:

  • (R1) Eastern end of retaining wall: 39.102571, -120.952842
  • (R2) Northeast corner of orig. bldg., at staircase: 39.103053, -120.953244
  • (R3) Just east of School Street bldg. entrance: 39.102703, -120.953607

WPA stamp “R1” overlooks “S1”; both are shown in one of the images below. Stamp “R2” is the outlier as it does not face School Street. Rather, it faces the parking lot that lies east/northeast of the original school building. The stamp can be seen just north of the staircase that rises from the parking lot and parallels the north face of the original building.

Stamp “R3”, which in fact a “WPA 1940” shield, can be found on the retaining wall just east of the school entrance, on the north side of School Street. The shield is very easily missed: heavily damaged and painted over, the rough shapes of “WPA” and “1940” are still visible.

Source notes

Personal visit by Evan Kalish, Jun. 2017.

WPA imprint stamps on sidewalk

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 4, 2018.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

School Street
Colfax, CA

Location notes: Coordinates for eastern sidewalk stamp ("S1")

Coordinates: 39.102562, -120.952843

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