Reader Frank Wytiaz Jr. of McCandless shares his reaction to my story today about the new Community Steps Collaborative -- founded by M.J. Flott and Alex Lake -- to care for the city's steps:
"Nice job reporting on the “City Steps” as we used to call them when I grew up in Glenwood….our steps at the bottom of Cust St. led us right down to cross over Sunnyside Street, continue through Gate Lodge Way, and deposit you on Second Avenue. Of course, walking was much more en vogue 40 years ago, even when gas was about 25 cents a gallon. Those steps were a direct route to my first real job at the B&O Railroad facility that occupied much of the space between Second Avenue and the Mon River.
"Cust Street was fundamentally a “dead end” street that my family lived on in Glenwood. At the lower part of Cust, on the right side, were the “City Steps”….concrete plank treads with round metal handrails, one high and one low….I remember that because, when we were little, we would treat them like a jungle gym and slide down from segment to segment. We boys would play in the clayey dirt underneath the steps, it kept us out of the hot sun! There were no verticals to back up the treads, so you could see people walking up and down the steps. There were also a number of houses that had the steps as a fronting to their front yards. Basically, walk out of your door, to your front porch and onto the landing of steps. You could walk from Glenwood Avenue, down Cust St. and take the steps to Sunnyside St, then to Gate Lodge Way, and finish on Second Avenue.
"Seems as though the steps were somehow a way of connecting the working man and woman with their employment and their homes. I would think that other stories like mine are plentiful here in the city.
"Nice to see the young and bright grab onto something like this, an infrastructure element from the past, that they have a vision for….way to go, guys!"
Another reader, C.S. of Squirrel Hill writes this:
"There is a set of steps near my house (perpendicular to, and connecting Caton street and Rosemoor Street). So far as I can tell, very few people are aware of these particular steps. They have been closed off due to non-repair but I would love to get them on the list of steps that could be spruced and art-ed up!"
photo credit: Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette