Monday, February 1

Step by Step

In its industrial era, Pittsburgh working class often lived on the tops of the hills, commuting down to the factories on the riverbanks via extremely large sets of stairs. Hidden gems of the city's pragmatic past, there are 712 sets of stairs (totaling 4.5 vertical miles) in the city today. During some of my outdoor stair workouts, I've encountered some intriguing discoveries. Many of these steps are considered on paper as true streets. Don't try to mapquest on the South Side Slopes, as the software engine may lead your car to a left turn down a staircase. I even stumbled upon the occasional house whose only access is the stairs--no alley, no street--just the stairs (imagine carrying groceries).

This photo above is Yard Way, which has 317 stairs.

Here's a few other staircases I tackle.

The picture below shows one of the many staircases with an official street sign.


  1. How very interesting...thanks for the scoop, Jessica. Although, we have been to Pittsburgh, didn't see them.

  2. Hi Nita. I've lived in Pittsburgh my whole life and only knew of a handfull of these. Usually, the only people who know about them are those that live in the neighborhood and have used them. There is a cool book called "Steps of Pittsburgh" which has been my guide to finding all of these gems.