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I frequently walk the streets of North Park. Recently, when repairs were being done to the sidewalk, the imprinted street names in the concrete were preserved by cutting the cement around them, removing them, and then returning them to their original locations.

I was walking down the 2300 block of El Cajon Boulevard, and at the corner where it met Louisiana Street, I looked down and saw “El Cajon Ave” imprinted in the sidewalk. My first thought was someone really screwed up, and I kept walking. The next block (2200), I looked down and the curb was painted red and worn, but it was clear enough to see the words “El Cajon Ave.”

No longer figuring this was a mistake, I set out to find out about the name. The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association website, theboulevard.org has historical info and photos, but I was unable to figure out the name mystery. I did see a photo of JFK in a motorcade on the boulevard.

I sent an email to info@boulevard.org, and Steve Aldana was kind enough to respond to my question — What year did the name change from Ave to Blvd? In 1937, the city council voted to change its name and designation to note its significance as a major thoroughfare.

Photo credit: So Cal Metro (please contact us: stories@sandiegoreader.com — Robert Mizrachi)

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Comments

suzledeboer Jan. 26, 2011 @ 10:23 a.m.

Christopher, you can thank the sidewalks people in Normal Heights for those cut out and put back street name stamps and contractors' stamps. We started working on that process with the City back in 2000, and now it's all set in stone (pun intended) for new sidewalks and curbs. Walk East Mountain View in NH; you'll see many examples of sidewalk history. Check out Arthur Avenue at 35th Street; my favorite.

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cbranco Feb. 2, 2011 @ 10:26 a.m.

many thanks to you and other sidewalk people ...i will check out your spots! chris

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Founder Feb. 2, 2011 @ 10:14 a.m.

Yes, the old date stamps and names are great but it is also too bad that the City does not also re-establish the old sidewalk scoring when they replace the same sidewalks... The "new" sidewalks don't last as long either and seem to get many more "holes" appearing in them in a much shorter time period!

Ideally, the corners would get surveying pins installed so that any sidewalk jobs done mid block would align with the entire blocks scoring pattern and edges but again the City is not doing its job and allowing each job to align with its own best guess which results in a "drunkards walk" of scoring all done at the frustration of those Owners that had to pay out of pocket for them! Doing every sidewalk on an entire block would result in a much superior job and not surprisingly was the way they were done back in the day.

Want a good example of a "drunkards walk" job(and I'm not referring to the Late Night type), stroll down a couple of blocks of Ray St. in NP, south of North Park Way.

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Susan Williams March 8, 2011 @ 8:12 p.m.

I love the old sidewalks of North Park. I've even found a horse ring once.

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