On Monday, January 9th, I and two of my friends attended the stairway lighting ceremony for the St. Andrew stairs in Los Feliz, California. It was a small gathering of about 20 people including a couple of news channels and cable channel 35. The stairs have been around since the 1920’s and were used to connect the streets to the trolley. At one time there were plans to have the stairs lit but those plans never happened, probably due to the depression. Now, more than 80 years later, funds finally became available and the stairs now have their lamp posts. It also took the neighbors to agree to have the stairs lit. Surprisingly, there are some stairs in some neighborhoods that are not lit because the neighbors don’t want people hanging around the stairs or walking them after dark. They consider the stairs a nuisance. However, lighting the stairs makes them safer and actually gets rid of the unsavory characters that party and liter, ruining the appearance of the stairs which were meant for everyone to use and enjoy.
Councilman Tom La Bonge did the honors of turning on the switch. He gave a short speech and was accompanied by people from the Los Angeles Department of Streets and some of his staff. Before the city decided to light the stairs, the stairs were littered with bottles, cigarette butts, broken glass and graffiti. On this day, I could smell the fresh paint that now covers up the graffiti and I did not see any debris. Tom took to the podium around 4:45 and the lights went on after his shirt speech. It was beautiful to see the sun setting over Los Angeles and the stairs, casting a golden orange hue over everything and making for great photos. My friends and I and a couple of cameramen stayed after everyone left so we could see the stairs lit up at night.
The stairs have 153 steps with benches along the sides where the landings are. Half way up there is a rounded patio which offers a great look-out point to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and surrounding areas. Quite a sight to behold as the sun was setting and night fell on the City of Angels. These stairs are one of my favorite because of the stunning view and are the same stairs that can be seen behind me on the top of my blog. I’m thrilled that these stairs are now lit and cleaned up. I’m looking forward to more historic staircases being lit.
For anyone interested in visiting the stairs, they are located at 1950 St. Andrew, north of Franklin Ave in Los Feliz. They are also included in the “Secret Stairs” book by Charles Fleming under walk #29, Los Feliz –Griffith Park Loop.