"Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated"

I work at a large university in Philadelphia, around some of the buildings there are brass plates in the sidewalk saying “Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated”.

This has been driving us nuts trying to figure out what it means.

What does it mean?!

dammit! i meant to ask that same question like 50 times before, but always forgot it.

and now i live in austin! shits…
well, i can’t wait for the answer.


p.s.-Atomic Robot, i’m guessing you’re at UPenn. I used to work at HUP. is the plate you are thinking of on walnut, like around 36th or 37th?

First of all, that’s “SPACE WITHIN THESE LINES”.

]Dedicated land is private land which has been opened for public use, such as streets and sidewalks. The space within the lines, however, is not open for public use.


I remember that. Is that peculiar to Philadelphia? It never occurred to me. Anyway, it seems to me that there was one of those plaques in the ground around Wanamaker’s and I think that once a year, they roped it off to make a legal point that it was not open to the public. What happens with 24/7 markets?

Reminds me, what is the Penna Dept of Agriculture? When I was growing up, every packaged baked goods was regd with them. I thought nothing of it, assuming that if I went to NJ, it would be regd NJDA. The only place in NJ we ever went to was Atlantic City (to swim; there was no gambling then) and everything including the tourists was imported from Philly anyway, so I kind of decided it was an aberration. But when I went to Europe and even Japan and found at least some of the baked goods still regd PA DA, I really began to wonder if it wasn’t really the secret government of the universe.

One of Dave Feldman’s Imponderables books addresses this; unfortunately I don’t have a copy of it to hand and didn’t have any luck with a quick Google search. IIRC, it has something to do with the fact that the PA DA required that baked goods sold in PA had to be registered and labeled as such. Rather than print up packages specifically for sales in PA, most manufacturers of baked goods simply printed the required registration info on all their packages.

It’s scary sometimes the amount of useless trivia I have taking up space in my brain which could be better used for other things.