Tag Archive for: stairways

We didn’t get a chance to tell you about this ahead of time, but the Big Parade III is going on right now and through the rest of this weekend.

The 35-mile, two day excursion covers 100 stairways of beautiful Echo Park, Downtown, Silver Lake and Los Feliz, and is led by Bob Inman, nicknamed the “stairway god.”

While the tour has started as of the publication of this post, the tour is organized by “loops” and you can join in at any time. The best part? You can find out where they are, real time, by checking out their Twitter page (right now they are on the Downtown LA segment).

Some of the highlights for today’s tour include an Echo Park loop, meeting at Fix Coffee at 3:00 pm for a 5.5 mile historic stairways loop. At 6:00 pm is the final loop of the day in Angelino Heights, meeting at Lot 1 Cafe for a two mile tour of the Victorian architecture of the neighborhood and Echo Park Lake. Check out the map below and visit the website for more details on timelines:

Sunday’s tour covers Silver Lake and Los Feliz, all the way up to the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign.

Along the way, you’ll discuss historical points of interest, nature, and architecture – all things which make our neighborhoods awesome!

Big Parade III
May 21-22, 2011
Follow on Twitter
Visit the website for timetables and more info

Last Saturday I managed to finally change out of my PJs in the afternoon and join fellow stair geeks, Echo Park area residents, and author of “Secret Stairs,” Charles Fleming, for an afternoon of exploring a few of Echo Park’s hidden stairways.

View from the top of the Clinton Stairs

My fascination with these stairways has slowly grown over the past few months, and has now officially become a slight obsession – it’s like treasure hunt, and one that not a lot of people know about (minus the occasional gang members and homeless people). It’s quite satisfying to learn about some of the history with the stairways and to conquer some of the extremely long and steep ones.

At the beginning of the hike, we met up at Stories Books in Echo Park. Charles’ once-a-month stairways tours are generally not listed in his book, which he says is purposeful. Everyone with the book will be able to take those tours on their own, he told us, so he likes to change things up a bit.

Our tour took us down to Echo Park Lake and hiked up, I think, the Clinton Stairway. We then bravely crossed Alvarado and wound our way through streets and stairways around the Dream Center area (a tip for dog owners: we walked by a few houses with some pretty rambunctious pups).

Next up: crossing over the 101 Freeway and onto Temple Street, and back under the freeway through a tunnel I didn’t even know existed (Laveta Terrace, I believe). We then headed back to the Stories Cafe patio for some wine and cheese. The whole walk took about an hour and a half, and two days later, boy, am I sore! But it was worth it, and with a difficulty of three out of five it actually wasn’t that bad.

Charles starting walking stairways to heal chronic back pain

After the tour, Charles spoke about how some of his stairway tours can really bring awareness to the cleanup and repair that needs to be done. Nearly every staircase was litter with broken glass, beer bottle caps, and trash – a site we’ve all gotten way too used to. It’s important for Charles and his tours that the Council Districts take an active role in participating in the cleanup and maintenance of the stairways for our safety and enjoyment.

This brings to mind when, last May, residents teamed up and cleaned the Lucretia Stairway in Echo Park – removing trash and graffiti that had plagued the stairway. They also got Northeast Division officers to patrol the street and keep an eye on things, so the effort was deemed successful.

Anyone having trouble with their public staircase should find out when the next community meeting is, for instance CD1 and CD13 reps, along with Northeast and Rampart Division officers, attend the monthly Echo Park Improvement Association town hall meetings. It’s important that the city knows about any public stairways that are in disrepair and/or need a cleanup, a message that Charles Fleming is working hard to spread.

If you’d like to participate in one of Charles’ walking tours of Los Angeles stairways, check back here or visit the Secret Stairs website. And, of course, buy the book at Stories!

We’ve also got a great map of Echo Park stairways, which you should check that out here.


Tours are once a month, email misterfleming@aol.com to get on the mailing list!

There are more and more stairways groups popping up in my research. I’ve written about the Big Parade before, which is a free two-day, 35 mile walk throughout Los Angeles led by Bob Inman (author of “A Guide to the Stairways of Los Angeles”) and occurs just once a year in the spring/early summer. He also leads an occasional Stairways and Beer tour in Eagle Rock.

Los Angeles Stairstreet Advocates is a great organization on Facebook that also holds once-a-month walks around the Echo Park/Silver Lake area.

The more we utilize these public spaces, the easier it will be to keep them safe and clean!

Baxter Stairs Sunset / Flickr photo via andysternberg

Feeling in shape (or out of shape) these days? Maybe it’s your time to join your neighbors for a free two-day, 35 mile walk throughout Los Angeles from Saturday, June 12 through Sunday, June 13.

The Big Parade is a two-day walk through Los Angeles. It starts at the famous Angel’s Flight Stairs, downtown, and works its way west, through multiple neighborhoods, stopping at the famous Music Box Stairs in Silver Lake – named after Laurel & Hardy’s Oscar-winning 1932 short film – for an overnight campout. Then, we continue through the stairways of Silver Lake, on to the Franklin Hills and Los Feliz. We traverse Griffith Park, and then walk through the Beachwood Canyon/Hollywoodland neighborhood, all the way to the Hollywood Sign.

Anyone can come along – for an hour, a day, or the whole hike. The group had a couple of practice hikes at the end of May to get everyone geared up and in shape, but there may just be another one this weekend (June 5 or 6) before the big day. Visit The Big Parade website for more information on those practice hikes and the event.

We will post the route map as soon as the event organizers do (camping sites are also being finalized). For now, feel free to get yourself geared up on your own by taking a tour of some Echo Park stairways.

Click here to download the PDF flyer for the event.

Laveta Stairway

With over 20 stairways around Echo Park, who needs a stairmaster? Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to get in shape!

With the help from the Echo Park Stairways PDF map from the Echo Park Historical Society, as well as from a website called Community Walk which has a map of Los Angeles Stairways (not all Echo Park stairways are listed on there, but there are a ton of spots around all of L.A.), we have put together this nice Echo Park Stairways map just for you:

View Echo Park Stairways in a larger map

This was, of course, before we discovered the Echo Park Historical Society’s interactive Google map of the Echo Park Stairways, which you can always check out here (we were having some technical difficulties sharing and embedding the map within our site).

Remember to wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen!

Here’s your schedule for Saturday, February 27:

Echo Park Beautification Cleanup
Postponed due to rain! We will let you know when the event is rescheduled.

Stairways of Echo Park Tour (if not rained out!)
10 am
Elysian Heights Elementary School: 1562 Baxter St.

Miss Scarlot in the Parlor Studio Sale
10 am – 8 pm, Saturday + Sunday
1282 W. Sunset Blvd.

Snow Day Fundraiser
Has been rescheduled (due to rain) for March 6 March 13, more info to come later!

Echo Park Block Party (if not rained out!)
11 am – 1 pm
1572 Sunset Boulevard @ Echo Park Avenue

Origami Vinyl Show
12 noon
Brunch with The Mother Hips

Know New Taxes workshop
2:00 PM
The Ronin Gallery: 1924 Echo Park Avenue
$10 / seat (contact them to RSVP)

So you can’t be bored on Saturday – there’s plenty to do!

From the Echo Park Historical Society

Another kind of beautiful stairway in Echo Park: