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Metal sidewalk markers

Hi MA,

In my neighborhood, the sidewalks have these metal buttons embedded in the sidewalk. They look like an oversized Levi’s jeans rivet, are made of copper or brass, and are stamped with “LS 5456.” They are about the size of a dime and appear somewhat randomly. What are they?

— Alan M., San Diego

Those are property markers, embedded in the sidewalks during development. They demarcate the boundaries, usually the corners, of property as measured by professional surveyors. The numbers are the individual surveyor’s identification, because they have to tag every monument they put down during land surveying, regardless of location. The monuments are useful to the city when workers go in and start tearing things up to fix water lines or whatever they’re digging around for, because it lets them know into whose property they’re digging. Occasionally, historical monuments get pegged into the sidewalks, but they’re usually a little bigger and can have more conventional text.

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Hi MA,

In my neighborhood, the sidewalks have these metal buttons embedded in the sidewalk. They look like an oversized Levi’s jeans rivet, are made of copper or brass, and are stamped with “LS 5456.” They are about the size of a dime and appear somewhat randomly. What are they?

— Alan M., San Diego

Those are property markers, embedded in the sidewalks during development. They demarcate the boundaries, usually the corners, of property as measured by professional surveyors. The numbers are the individual surveyor’s identification, because they have to tag every monument they put down during land surveying, regardless of location. The monuments are useful to the city when workers go in and start tearing things up to fix water lines or whatever they’re digging around for, because it lets them know into whose property they’re digging. Occasionally, historical monuments get pegged into the sidewalks, but they’re usually a little bigger and can have more conventional text.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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