Show Us Your Favorite Secret Stairway

Not a secret, but an incredible staircase. Radio City Music Hall main stairway.
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Spiral staircase in the electric room at the museum of technology in Cambridge. Inspiration for a site-specific sound art installation last month
Monument — Cambridge Museum of Technology

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Not quite secret, but pretty much unknown outside the Bronx, are the borough’s step streets. These were added on hills that were much too steep for roads, thus allowing pedestrians to walk from one street to a lower street without having to walk around the block. This step street is at 167 street, right near where I grew up (I can’t tell you how many times I schlepped up and down that street!) There are several step streets in the Bronx; many offer great views of old art deco apartment dwellings and several have become street art.Step%20Street

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There are several of these in Portland, Oregon, too. I’ve always loved them.

This gate leads to what’s locally known as the 39 steps, a staircase cut into the chalk cliff at North Foreland, near Broadstairs, Kent, UK.

I grew up here and used to have a paper round on the private estate sited above this staircase, at the time there was an old iron fence, but no locked gate. My 12 year old self used to love locking my bike up at the top before scurrying down the cold, damp and green stair case before being spewed out onto the beach below.

The locals must have not appreciated me doing this as much as I did, hence the gate now! :wink:

Interesting article about how the staircase inspired John Buchan to write his famous novel The 39 Steps…http://bygonekent.org.uk/article/buchan-broadstairs-and-thirty-nine-steps/

Oh and another with a couple of better photos for you: https://www.deuxmessieurs.com/the-travelling-mulberry/broadstairs/

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These are the Fineview Steps on the North Side of Pittsburgh (north of the Allegheny River). The steps are part of a fitness circuit in Pittsburgh, but really show the ghosts of Pittsburgh’s illustrious past and are reflective of the challenges Pittsburgh continues to face today.

Fineview Steps Challenge

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Unbelievable!! Beautiful find.

Sadly I have lost the picture of the staircase, it was in Angouleme, France,in a small unassuming hotel.
The stairs were steep and narrow, but the amazing thing was that you had no choice of which foot to use as one side of each tread was cutout. So if you got it “wrong” you were climbing two treads at a time.
I have looked for pictures of the staircase but can’t find any.

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Mont St Michel stairway to beautiful view.

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Not secret, but a part of Chicago’s vast architectural legacy. This is one of many intriguing and beautiful stairways at the University of Chicago. Atmospheric photo by Chris Smith.

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Closer to my home in Texas, I’ve always loved the exciting descent into the maelstrom at the center of Fort Worth’s Water Gardens, a downtown landmark.

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Quincy Hill, Parkersburg, WV
A local workout challenge, amongst other things. You’re rewarded with a tremendous view over the city and the Ohio River when you reach the top. Site of a water tank failure in 1909 when two million gallons of water cascaded down the side of the hill and into the streets of the city causing two deaths.

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This place is amazing! I had no idea!!
Livraria Lello & Irmão: Livraria Lello - Wikipedia

Great photo, too!

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This is located in the The “Palace” of Parliament in Bucharest - the world’s second-largest administrative building. (The Pentagon is the largest). In such an ostentatious setting (it was built under communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu), I liked how simple this was and it’s tucked away near the internal offices the public doesn’t usually get to see.

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I really wish I’d known about this when I was in Bilbao last!

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We loved the climb to the Tiger Cave Temple is a Buddhist temple north-northeast of Krabi, Thailand. You must go early to see the sun rise and climb 1,237 stairs to the top.


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Ah, the Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador.

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From the first moment I saw the interior of the National Post Office in Mexico City, I was mesmerised.
It is also known as the Palacio Postal, or the Palacio de Correos de México and is located in downtown Mexico, the most entrancing city on earth.

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No photo, as I traveled there before cell-phone cameras, but the stairs leading down the cliffs of the very southern end of Puerto Vallarta town to the beach are memorable. They pass almost intrusively right in front of private homes’ doors, so as one walks up and down, especially at night, the “stealth factor” kicks in :?) And most of the front doorways are postcard gorgeous as well; the exclusive homes are built into the cliffs providing a dreamlike setting.

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My favourite stairway encountered on my travels is probably The Cascade in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city. Constructed from 1971 and inaugurated in 2009, this monster links the central area of the city with Haghtanak Park. For those willing to walk up 750 steps, rising to a height of 387 feet (118m) above the city, the views on a clear day are stunning – not only of Yerevan, but also beyond towards Mount Ararat (in neighbouring Turkey and of Noah’s Ark fame). The Cascade is divided into a series of levels, each marked by a small central terrace, or landing, between the steps either side. The terraces are adorned with fountains, flowerbeds and modern sculptures. For those electing not to walk up the stairway, there is another surprise in store – underneath the steps are a series of seven escalators running along its entire length. The complex also includes exhibit halls connected to some of the terraces which form the Cafesjian Center for the Arts (inspired by its founder, Gerard L. Cafesjian, an American businessman and philanthropist of Armenian parentage).
As a point of note, for some strange reason, the otherwise fantastic Atlas Obscura book appears to omit the Caucasus nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – perhaps something for the next edition (?!?)

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