2018-05-11

Public Stairs of Saint Paul Walking Tour #1 on Sunday 5/20

[East Side stairs.]
Join me for another tour. This is a new idea that's been buzzing around my head for a decade, ever since I happened across a "staircase" connecting two sidewalks over on the East Side. It was green and great, and the wooden "public" "sidewalk" staircase filled my heart with a curiosity for more public flights.

A few years later I found myself in Portland, Oregon, and picked up a copy of this book: The Portland Stairs Book. Public stairs are ubiquitous in hilly Portland, especially in the Northwest and Southwest parts of the city, and it inspired me to search for similar stairs in Saint Paul.

Years after that, I moved to the West Side and started seeing staircases, lost and found. Saint Paul is no Portland, and the majority of the old staircases that used to run up and down the bluffs have been lost to so-called progress, freeways, railroads, and the like. But there are still a handful of interesting staircases to climb and descend.

So join me!

This is the first staircase walking tour. I will be pointing out some historical highlights along the way, things like the impact and odd story of the 35 E freeway, lost buildings of the old bluff, the strange "sneaky trail", the history of Crocus Hill, murder, and more. We'll be going up or down four (4) sets of public staircases of the following lengths:

  • 156 steps
  • 79 steps
  • 56 steps
  • and 50 steps


The walk is over four (4) miles long and is the pace will be somewhere between steady and vigorous. This is not an ADA accessible tour. Please wear your walking shoes and come prepared to set out!


[Facebook invite is here.]


[One set of stairs below the Hill house.] 

What: Guided walking tour of four (4) public staircases in Saint Paul, as well of plenty of historic homes
When: Sunday 5/20 at 2:30pm (tour will last about two hours, maybe a bit more)
Where: Meet at the corner of Mulberry Street and Old Kellogg, by the Selby Streetcar Tunnel
Why: Because they're still there
Who: Anyone willing to walk a bit. Free of charge.

[Possible highlights / lowlights follow...]

[A set of public stairs along Summit Hill.]

 [Non-public limestone staircase.]

[Where the sidewalk ends?]

 [What is in these woods anyway?]

[A staircase view.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think I can tell you "what is in these woods anyhow" assuming you took the photo where I think you did... This is right at the off-ramp from 35E on St. Clair right? If so, what is in the woods is the foundations of the houses that used to be on Pleasant Ave. prior to the construction of 35. They moved the nicer houses down the hill and put them on new foundations. I own one of the houses that was moved from right there. They took it down the hill and put it on Oneida st. One nice thing is that while all my neighbors have horrible limestone basements ala Silence of the Lambs, I have a nice clean concrete block.