Famous steps

Some real-life steps and staircases, such as Rome’s Spanish Steps, are world-famous in their own right. Others have fame thrust upon them through depictions in movies, TV shows, books, paintings, and other media. Can we make a list of those in this latter category? Here are some to get us started:

  • The Music Box steps in Los Angeles, California were made famous through their appearance in the 1932 Laurel and Hardy short of the same name. Today they’re conspicuously signposted for tourists and feature a plaque with the duo’s portraits.
  • The steps from Prospect Street to M Street in the Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington, DC were featured prominently in the 1973 film The Exorcist. As I discussed in my thread about my visit to Washington, the steps are a popular tourist attraction. As with the Music Box steps, a commemorative plaque has been installed at the bottom.
  • The steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art were made famous by their use in Rocky. There’s now a bronze statue of Rocky at the bottom of the steps.
  • The Potemkin steps of Odessa have been a symbol of the city since the 19th century, but they didn’t really achieve worldwide fame until serving as the location for the horrific massacre in Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 classic Battleship Potemkin.

Again, let’s confine our search to steps that exist(ed) as permanent, functional objects in the real world, not ones that were conceived in the imagination of an author or artist, nor ones that were constructed for the set of a movie, TV show, or play.

The Joker Stairs have apparently become a thing.

Union Station, from The Untouchables.

Dunno if it qualifies as I had to look it up, but if I saw them in person I think I’d recognize them right away.

The steps of Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library are a popular filming location, as seen in half a dozen of this article’s photos:

The staircase in the Loretto Chapel in New Mexico is fairly famous.

A scene unabashedly stolen from Potemkin.

“If we turned right back there we’d end up on the Montmartre steps!”

From which film or other depiction? I’ve seen documentaries about it but don’t recall it appearing in any work of fiction.

I saw a made-for-TV movie about that staircase once (which implied that the carpenter who built them might have been Joseph, stepfather of Jesus), but I don’t think it had much impact on the public consciousness.

The New York Public Library’s steps (with their iconic lions) have featured in a number of movies, like The Day After Tomorrow.

Is this thread about fictional works, specifically? If so, then I dunno. I’ve seen it featured on a few of those In Search Of and Unsolved Mysteries type TV shows. It’s famous enough that there was a movie made about it, but I haven’t seen it.

The Staircase, with Barbara Hershey.

Not necessarily “famous”, except for stooge fans; here’s a great video documenting the “Stooge Steps” in Los Angeles (Silver Lake neighborhood) for the Three Stooges An Ache in Every Stake:

The eponymous stairs from the thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps actually has 52 steps and (for your less active spies) an elevator.

The Suga Shrine Steps in Tokyo from Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)

The double-helix stairways in Chateau de Chambord, France.

The Forecourt Steps lead to a well recognised building and are themselves a popular outdoor concert venue in Sydney.

Michelangelo (et al.)’s Laurentian Library stairway:

16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco

Now that looks a rather brilliant example of urban amenity … but wouldn’t they be bloody slippery, if not lethal when they got wet?

I don’t know about that, but I do know that tourists’ cars get broken into on a regular basis when parked in the area. A word to the wise, as they say…