Sidewalks..a kaleidoscope of colors

What color is your sidewalk? Is it Buckwheat? Dusty Rose? Apricot? Concrete doesn’t just come in one color – there are actually dozens of different shades.

Array of colors from a concrete color swatch

When a sidewalk is being constructed or replaced, SDOT often consults with the contractor or the private sidewalk owner to choose the exact shade of concrete. While most sidewalks are standard gray, it’s not hard to find a kaleidoscope of colors on city streets.

“The color of a sidewalk depends on the area where it’s found.” Says engineer Sarah Black with Perteet, an engineering firm that works closely with the SDOT on many projects. “Each neighborhood and historical district may have a different shade of concrete, and we match the color to preserve the esthetics of the block.”

A real-life example of this can currently be seen at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel on Fourth Avenue between University and Union Streets. As part of the Fourth Avenue repaving project, the sidewalks near the hotel are undergoing repairs. The city is actively working with the hotel to match their existing sidewalk, which is a shade of apricot.

Sidewalk at Fourth Avenue between University and Union Streets in front of the Fairmont Hotel

So the next time you walk in Seattle, see if you can find shades of Fox Red or Orchid beneath your feet.

View of actual concrete/sidewalk colors