The Unofficial Story: Sidewalk Oral Histories
Southtown Improvements, City of San Antonio commission, 2004
Florida Street Improvements, City of San Antonio commission, 2008
John Michael Kohler Art Center and the City of Sheboygan, Wisconsin 2009-2010


These recollections - gathered from dozens of interviews I conducted over many months - evoke life before San Antonio's oldest neighborhood’s close ties to downtown were broken and its communities dispersed by urban renewal projects. Inspired by concrete makers’ marks - an indelible piece of labor history - I developed a technique for stamping longtime residents' stories into the sidewalks along the streets where they grew up. As children on their way to school, locals and tourists walk and read, they are reconnecting the past and present of a changing city. Panels at the beginning and end of each street acknowledge the contributors by name.  

For my residency at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, I developed a movable typesetting system to make the stamping process faster and more flexible, which enabled community volunteers to participate in laying down those stories.

© Anne Wallace 2020