Time for another Secret Stair post! This time I climbed around Hollywood and explored the maze of secret stairs behind the Bowl.
— In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy! —
I parked over in the lot for the Hollywood Heritage Museum, which so far hasn’t gotten me any tickets and has been a great starting point for many of the Hollywood Secret Stair walks. I also happen to know one of the volunteers at the museum there, and I think he’d be happy to see that people were using the lot so they could go explore the Secret Stairs. It’s also at the corner here where I ran into another couple also doing a Secret Stair walk. They were doing the Whitely Heights Loop (which I wrote about HERE). We chatted for a little bit before continuing with our walks. I love the stair walking community.
The above photo tells you how this neighborhood got its name. This “high tower” is an elevator that leads 5 stories up, from street level to the many homes that don’t have street access. The book says only 30 some-odd people have keys to this elevator. Further in the post I’ll explain why this is so helpful. This is a steep neighborhood (as you can tell from the photo below) so expect a hearty workout with some killer views that make it all worthwhile. You can see this stuff in a gym, that’s for sure!
You know how I love doors…
The weather was perfect for stair walking: sunny with a slight breeze. The blue sky really brought out the colors of the homes and flowers.
Higher and higher I go!
The photo below shows you where all these hillside homes park their cars. I’m sure many of these homes hidden in the hillside with killer views and a maze of Secret Stairs at their doorways, are worth millions of dollars and yet none have attached garages because they don’t have any streets! Residents have to get these garages where they park their cars far below and then hike up to their homes. I’m sure many people would find this frustrating after a long day at work, but to me it feels like an adventure. Can you imagine getting to your door after the trek up the hill and feeling nestled in this hidden oasis? I would love it. Plus, who doesn’t need a little exercise? Many of these lower streets are lined with garages for this reason.
From this photo you can see it connects with the photo above, and that these garages meet the main entrance to the Secret Stairs in this neighborhood. There’s a map (taken from the book) printed big and framed by this staircase so people can navigate through the maze. Also a neighbor saw me and yelled, “that’s the staircase you want!” with a friendly wave. They must get a LOT of stair walkers here.
Higher I went! Getting closer and closer to the tower.
There she is up close. Isn’t she pretty?
Once you get the 5+ stories up to the top of the landing, you can really get a feel for the maze of a neighborhood that exists up here. Around the corner I saw a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wrights son, and you know how I love doors. I had to share it below.
This neighborhood had so many adorable cute doors and details and I wish I could share them all with you, but I can’t. You’re going to have to do this walk yourself. When houses are hidden behind gates and fences, these elements become an important statement for each home and many homes here took pride in their care and design.
I’m stuck in an office today, but you should go out and climb the Secret Stairs and share your stories with me! I always love a good walking story.