Tour Du Jour : A Gallery of Stairs

Berendo Stairway

Los Feliz

Between Cromwell and Bonvue avenues at Berendo Street

Extremely Steep

Lovely ornamental concrete details, plus curves and benches. At the top, walk east to the 4700 block of West Bonvue Street and continue to climb to Glendower Avenue--an additional 214 steps, but worth it for one of the loftiest views of the Los Angeles Basin.

*

Bradbury Building

Downtown

304 S. Broadway

Easy

Five stories' worth of wrought iron balconies, open elevator cages and twisted staircases. The skylight illuminates the pink marble and yellow-glazed brick of this spectacular 1893 office building. The building provided key interiors for the film "Blade Runner."

*

Cove Avenue Stairway

Silver Lake

Midway between Apex Avenue and Silver Lake Boulevard

Moderate

Among dozens of Silver Lake stairways, Cove Avenue is a jewel. Its shallow risers ascend through cedar and eucalyptus and arrive at a small meadow of gazania flowers--a peaceful spot to sit and admire the turquouise water of the reservoir.

*

Music Box Stairway

Silver Lake

Between Descanso Drive and Vendome Street at Del Monte Drive

Moderate to steep

Los Angeles' Odessa Steps. Where Laurel and Hardy tried to move a piano in "The Music Box" (1932), the stairs are now shady and overgrown in contrast to the starkly sunny L.A. of film and memory.

*

The Watercourt

Downtown

Between 3rd and 4th streets, east of Grand Avenue

Moderate to Steep

The Watercourt at California Plaza is the nexus of the greatest assemblage of stairs, escalators, pools and fountains in the city. The newly reopened upper station of Angels Flight provides a spectacular entrance and a superb view of downtown.

*

Radio Walk

Franklin Heights

Between Franklin and Deloz avenues

Steep

A long, exquisite, west-facing stairway with views of Griffith Park and Hollywood. It feels so high up. . .because it is. Church bells, mockingbirds and wild parrots can be heard as you pass beneath a tree canopy. Return by Prospect walk, an adjacent stairway to the south, with even wider views.

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