Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Early Stairs of Los Angeles

Steve Lopez' column of April 13 in the Los Angeles Times tells of a man who healed his seriously aching back by climbing stairs. And while any old stairs might have helped the pain, what makes this column a gem of local history is that the man--Charles Fleming--lived in an area of LA riddled with early public stairs that predated our automobile culture. Most were built in the 1920s and 1930s. And Fleming has written a book about them. That's it at left.

Included in the book is the staircase where Laurel and Hardy moved a piano in "The Music Box," but that's pretty well-known. Lopez says that Fleming took his on a tour, pointing out bits of history: "the house where Anais Nin died, the house where William Faulkner wrote "To Have and Have Not, the cabin-hotel where Ernest Hemingway once hung his hat, the place where Tom Mix's saloon used to be..." you get the picture. For history buffs, fascinating stuff.

I doubt that any of the stairways are in San Pedro, because Lopez mentions Echo Park and Silverlake, Hollywood, and areas far removed from the port. Oh, well.

Not only a fascinating read, but walks to take your breath away.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there a schedule of tours?

Anonymous said...

Is there a schedule of tours?

Vix said...

Lopez says that Fleming leads monthly staircase tours, but didn't elaborate. You could google him, or join the practice walks described in the next post. The links there take you to a schedule.
Thanks for stopping by!