Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hidden la Attractions Worth a Climb

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hidden la Attractions Worth a Climb

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES -- Every tourist destination has its so-called hidden attractions: off-the-beaten-path sites that visitors have to put some effort into finding. Several such locations are in Los Angeles, but it's impossible not to stumble across them.

They're the staircases woven through the hilly areas adjacent to downtown Los Angeles. Some are only a few steps, some are hundreds, and there may be upward of 400 staircases.

They were built a century ago when Los Angelenos actually walked places instead of hopping into a car.

"They really got their boost in the teens and 1920s," said Charles Fleming. "They were built as shortcuts to get pedestrians from their homes down the hill to where they could grab a streetcar."

Mr. Fleming, a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, has written "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles." The book features 42 walks, each incorporating several of the stairways that have survived. …

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