Pittsburgh’s neighborhood boundaries might well have been scribbled out by a toddler, tracing meandering rivers, rail lines, cliff sides, and rolling hills. No wonder most early immigrants dug in deep and stayed put – until they had to get to work. Now tourist attractions, Pittsburgh’s two remaining inclined railways (at least fifteen operated circa 1900) once shuttled steelworkers from their homes on the hillsides to the mills below during the era of Big Steel. Many workers walked when possible, resorting to the steep public stairways – over 700 in all – dotting the city’s slopes.
Nineteen sets of steps used by steelworkers are within walking distance of Akoya’s offices on the Southside, so what could be a better lunch break in autumn than a brisk climb to a new vista? We plan to take on a different set of Southside steps as often as possible, until we’ve conquered all, using the maps at communitywalk.com.
Here are a few of our first photos.