Urbanite examples sent by readers- 2. Concrete High School, by Todd S.

Concrete, WashingtonTodd Schlemmer provided photos of the ‘rock’ lining the road that passes under Concrete High School. The school, built in 1952, is unique as it is built as an overpass over the access road. The design was reportedly intended to provide a dry place for a bus-loading zone; given the 65 inches of annual rainfall here, not a bad idea.
To get there, go east from Sedro Woolley on Highway 20 to Concrete, turn south (right) on Superior Avenue, and voilà! You can’t miss it. It is 23 miles, whether you drive the highway or do what Todd did- ride the graveled rails-to-trails Cascade Trail from Sedro  to Concrete through the Skagit lowlands.
IMG_20200408_190039 TS rsz mark

Your target urbanite- stepped structure at the underpass.

The underpass is lined with oddly stepped rock. Well, ‘rock’, because it is, of course urbanite. Given the town’s name, you shouldn’t be to shocked.

Concrete (formerly ‘Cement City”) produced


These 90-foot tall silos once held Portland cement produced by Concrete’s cement plant. They are on the corner of Highway 20 and Superior.

Limestone from the quarry north of town was made into Portland cement in Concrete, and was used for the two dams built by Puget Sound Power & Light up the Baker River, and for the three Skagit River dams built by Seattle City Light above Newhalem.

IMG_20200408_190044 TS rsz mark

Under the high school, the stepped concrete foundation has been sculpted with ‘fractures.

IMG_20200408_190046 TS crp rsz mark

Look for places where the exterior facing has eroded away. Pale blocks of cement are exposed, with slabs of concrete layered on them.

A field trip guide to the limestone quarry just north of town is on Northwest Geology Field Trips here. Bear in mind that the quarry is now closed, and visitors face arrest for trespass. Big bummer- it is fascinating.

Thanks for the photos, Todd!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: