Tag: Stairways

  • Stairs into the Grand Concourse

    Stairway down to the Grand Concourse

    The stairway from the Smithfield Street Bridge down into the Grand Concourse of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie railroad station.

  • Stairway in Baker Hall, Carnegie Mellon University

    Spiral stairway in Baker Hall

    Stairways can be good opportunities for architects to show off, and here is a stairway designed by Henry Hornbostel that defies imitation.

  • You Can’t Get There from Here

    Louisa Street

    Except on foot. This is Louisa Street in Oakland, a typical Pittsburgh street interrupted by a stairway.

    Stairs on Louisa Street
  • Stairway to the Slopes

    This stairway at the end of 15th Street, South Side, takes pedestrians up to a bridge over the railroad, and then to a stairway up into the South Side Slopes.

  • Street Interrupted, Part 1

    Andick Way stairs

    Beechview’s streets are laid out in a grid. The topography rebels against grids, so streets are often interrupted for a block by stairways—as we see here on Andick Way. This is a very common phenomenon in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The stairways appeared on published maps as streets, and in the early days of GPS that made navigation hazardous. Today most GPS systems have figured out which blocks are impassible to motor vehicles.

  • Stairway in Schenley Farms

  • A Street on Mount Washington

    Like many hilltop neighborhoods, Mount Washington is full of streets that appear as streets on maps but turn out to be stairways. They made driving perilous in the early days of GPS navigation, but most navigation systems have learned to distinguish the stairways by now. Mann Street is three blocks long, and two of the three are stairways like this.


  • Eleanor Street, South Side Slopes

    One of Pittsburgh’s distinctive features is the huge number of public stairways. Many streets that appear on maps are actually stairways, like Eleanor Street here. In the early days of GPS navigation, trip instructions would often send drivers up or down these streets; but most GPS systems have now learned to recognize the streets that can accommodate pedestrians only.

    And bicycle cops. To be a Pittsburgh bicycle cop, you have to be able to ride down one of these stairways. If you are still alive at the bottom of it, you’re qualified.


    Open Street Map does a good job of showing the public stairways on the South Side Slopes. All the denser red dotted lines are stairways. The narrower, sparser dotted lines are walkways.