Who will step up to take care of Silver Lake’s stairways?

The Mattachine Steps

The Mattachine Steps


SILVER LAKE — Dozens of stairways are up for adoption as part of a new neighborhood project meant to improve historic sites, celebrate walking and bring residents together.

Under the Adopt-a-Stairway initiative, anyone can help clean up or improve public stairways, which often serve as streets in hillside neighborhoods or have historical significance.

“It’s a way to bring people together around something that has drawn people to Silver Lake, and this is a way we can all converge around celebrating and promoting [the stairs,]” said Lisa Hart, chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Green Committee, which is co-sponsoring the initiative with the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy and Silver Lake Improvement Association.

There’s no specific formula or budget for stairway adoption projects. The committee encourages residents to be creative, from installing lighting or art to holding events – possibly cocktail hours – by the steps. After residents adopt stairs, officials can help connect them with businesses or other sources that could help them fund or organize stair improvement projects.

“It’s a very informal program in that regard. It might evolve and change, but right now were just asking people to do what they can and what they’re interested in,” Hart said.

Anyone can email questions about the project to stairs@silverlakenc.org. On Saturday, Sept. 27, residents can also learn more by attending a guided stairway walk at 11 a.m. at the Mattachine Steps on Cove Avenue near the Silver Lake Reservoir.

Amanda Schallert is a fourth-year UCLA student and the news editor at the Daily Bruin.

Eastsider Ads


  1. I can’t believe they would suggest even more alcohol than the overload of bars we have here. Fortunately, it is illegal to have cocktail hour on the public stairways or any place else in public — as if there aren’t too many bars here now as it is, like we need drunks all over the stairs and sidewalks., presumably to set an example for all the children in the neighborhood.

    If you want to stop most people from actually walking and using the stairways, then turn them into bars for cocktail hour. And maybe the kids can stop there for a drink on the a home from school.

    This is a real problem of thinking of too many people here now — alcohol is everything, alcohol must be central to everything.

    • Uh-oh… someone needs a nap.

    • Oh it’s fine for the yuppies to drink cocktails on the stairs just not latinos with 40s

      • Because that is *totally* what I said.


      • Somehow yes, Alijill. Because the yuppies seem to find the garbage can for their empties. The “40” drinkers like to smash the bottle down the steps when done.

        If everyone knew how to behave, we wouldn’t have to have dumb absolute restricting laws prohibiting things like having a drink in public.

        • Huh?! You’re saying the ban on alcohol in public is the fault of Latinos? Because of course, you say Latinos will always throw their bottles down to smash them.

          Gee, have you ever even met a Latino? I’m caucasian, and I’m shocked at your racism. I will say, I have never in my life seen any of the lots of Latinos I know or have known over the years thrown down a beer bottle to smash it. But I have seen lots of caucasians drinking excessively and being wild and roudy and starting fights and generally being slovenly drunk.

          Take a history lesson. Alcohol being banned in public has zero to do with Latinos. It has nothing to do with race. And you don’t belong here, you belong in a white supremacist town in Idaho.

          • Thank you!

            This site is sadly full of racist comments that White Echo Parker and his buddies make.

        • I’m not sure where you got anything regarding race in white echo parker’s comment. Perhaps you should read it again. I think that you assumed a lot of roles in that comment. Maybe you are the racist?

          40 drinkers can be any race not just Latino and yuppies can be any color too. We’re talking about socioeconomic stats here. Not race.

          Yup, I’m pretty sure you are the racist.

          • I responded to Tim’s comment. Why don’t you do that as well?

            I’ve been off this site for a while but coming back was a sad reality check at who’s posting and living in these neighborhoods now. I know it’s not the majority though, thankfully.

            Lots of racist, bigoted comments being posted. Much more than before. I think it’s only a few people posting under different names, but that’s the internets for ya.

            Have fun being angry at brown people! Don’t forget to tip your gardeners, nannies, cooks and countless other Mexicans that are the backbone of this city.

          • I was responding to Tim.

            I treat all the help very well. Really. Where would I be without all that cheep labor?

    • You obviously don’t live in the same neighborhood as everyone else. Anyone who has tried to go to a bar on Friday or Saturday night knows that there are far too few bars in the neighborhood. If there were enough bars, we wouldn’t have the crush loads in every single place – at least a few places would be a bit quieter.

  2. Can SLNC do anything about opening illegally blocked off stairs such as Fargo’s, which is just two blocks over from Mattachine? The City has never responded. The Fargo steps are the opposite of adopted; they have been condemned. Or perhaps IF someone adopted them, the would be reopened.

  3. It’s great seeing this terrific initiative to open and maintain our wonderful stair streets! And surprise! Cooperation and new energy with the three neighborhood organizations!

  4. It’s great seeing this terrific initiative to open and maintain our wonderful stair streets! And surprise! Cooperation and new energy with the three neighborhood organizations!

  5. The Rockford Street /Fargo street stairs are fenced off w barbed wire at either entry.

    Neighborhood urban legend is the hoarder troll property owner w the condemned house adjacent to these, supposedly owns them, I climbed the fence and was impressed with the condition of the 90+ year old stairs, the vistas are stellar.

    I hope they can be re-opened.

  6. How do the people who actually live off of these stairs feel about the primary entrance to their homes being “adopted”? Also, shouldn’t they have first dibs/obligation to maintain these “historically significant”(?) stairs?

    • Actually, it is the city’s responsibility to take care of the public stairways, not the adjacent property owner, just the same as it is the city’s responsibility to take care of the sidewalks. That is the law in Los Angeles. I’m not saying one way or the other whether that’s how it should be; I’m just saying that’s how it is.

      • Isn’t the City responsible for repairing all of the damaged sidewalks within the city of Los Angeles? Actually, the answer is no. The only exception to this rule is when trees have uplifted the sidewalk. In all other cases it is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility to maintain and/or, repair the sidewalk. Property owners by law are expected to maintain the area between the curb4ace and the back of sidewalk in a safe condition (Los Angeles Municipal Code, Chapter VI, of Section 62.104).


  7. I’m not sure I get the idea here. The stairs are a public street, to be maintained by the city. There are real needs, like stair repair, brush clearance, hand rails, etc. But this advisory committee doesn’t seem to have any power to make those things happen. And why would the residents want people who don’t live on the stairs to “adopt” them and install art or host cocktail parties? Part of the reason people are drawn to living on a stair street is the unique sense of privacy and close connection to one’s neighbors. Why turn it into a public party corridor?

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *