Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Staircases of Los Angeles

(Flickr pic by Cory.)

Five years ago we talked up Los Feliz's Radio Walk and Prospect Walk staircases in the Franklin Hills. Back when Franklin Avenue actually lived on Franklin Avenue, we used to hike those steps all the time for exercise.

The L.A. Times this week reminded us that there are staircases all over the city -- and they're popular among hikers and exercise fiends. The paper writes:

The "Music Box" staircase, which shoots straight up from Vendome Street to Descanso Drive, is one of 52 stairways in 46-year-old writer Dan Koeppel's personal 16.2-mile stair hike -- comprising 4,182 steps, with a 7,445-foot elevation gain.

The walk hopscotches up and down a matrix of city-owned steps around Silver Lake and Echo Park, just north of downtown Los Angeles, and offers up dazzling overlooks of East Los Angeles, Griffith Park Observatory, the Hollywood sign, the Silver Lake Reservoir and downtown Los Angeles. The overall effect is a little like taking a local historical garden tour while going full throttle on a StairMaster.

Bob Herzog, co-chairman of the Silver Lake History Collective, notes that the steps around the older parts of the city were built mostly in the mid 1920s, and led down to Red Car transit points. The Red Cars are long gone, of course, but the stairs remain.

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