Did you know there are at least 33 different stairways in Echo Park? Though many are relatively unknown and their quality sometimes unkempt, they offer both a window into the history of our beloved city as well as a free and convenient way to get a great workout.
According to Historic Echo Park, “the first stairways — made of wood — began appearing in Echo Park in the 1890s — long before most streets were paved and the automobile became popular.” Their purpose during this time was mostly utilitarian, aiding locals residing in the hills easier access to public transport.
Some stairways, however, such as the epic Baxter staircase, seem to offer more than just their practical, transportational function. Alternatively, they exist now as recreational hotspots for exercise, photography and even a romantic perch to watch the sunset over the city.
In one ambitious afternoon, we decided to test our limbs — and lungs— on six different stairways in various sectors of Echo Park. Some were strenuous (ahem Baxter), some tranquil, some picturesque and others, regrettably, were tagged with graffiti and laden with trash. In agreement with Echo Park Now’s sentiment, it is our hope that the more these stairways are used and appreciated, the more awareness we can bring to maintaining them. For further information on this, please visit EPN’s article on our stairs and information on preserving them.
North Echo Park Stairways
A luscious, green landscape and beautiful surrounding homes make Landa a private and peaceful climb. Don’t be fooled, though, you will feel the burn.
|| One block north of Whitmore at Landa St ||
According to Historic Echo Park, the epic Baxter stairway is “one of the single tallest stairways in the city, covering a vertical distance of 180 feet.” The stunning view of Echo Park’s northern hills is worth the tedious workout .
|| Baxter Street, three blocks east of Echo Park Ave ||
Central Echo Park Stairways
Aligned with agave and striking florals, the Delta Stairway offers great views of north central Echo Park. Treat yourself to lunch at Chango which awaits you at the bottom.
|| Delta St. one block west of Echo Park Ave ||
Perhaps Echo Park’s most beautiful and well-preserved staircase, this spot bodes well for contemplation or conversation (depending your fancy), and offers some lovely views of the neighborhood and the Downtown skyline.
|| Laveta Terrace, north of Sunset Blvd ||
South Echo Park Stairways
The Clinton stairway boasts some of the best views of the Echo Park Lake and Downtown. Though rubbish and possible homeless visitors may make it less appealing to some, this stairway remains emblematic to the community.
|| Glendale Blvd and Clinton ||
The lesser known Crosby Stairway offers a convenient bypass from the Angelino Heights neighborhood to the Echo Park Lake. Though trash is sometimes an issue, creative efforts have been made to keep this surprisingly lovely and blooming staircase clean.
|| Crosby Pl of off West Kensington Rd ||
Best workout – Baxter at 231 steps
Best views – Delta & Clinton
Best spot for lovers – Laveta
Most tranquil & private – Landa
Best kept secret – Crosby
For a full guide to Echo Park Stairways, check out this map by Historic Echo Park.