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Outside stairs

I have this fascination with outside stairs that are attached to buildings. These are stairs that are substantial, that appear to have been constructed out of the same material as the building.

Very few of the ones I really like have a rail – either attached to the building or to the edge of the stairs. Normally I would feel worried about going up or down these, but perhaps because they are attached at one side it is OK. I still wouldn’t want to use these stairs at night or in bad (rainy) weather. I find it interesting that the stairs are all uncovered. Perhaps these are all in locations that have very little rain?




Some do have rails.







Outside stairs in America seem to be for fire escapes only. They are not the main way into and out of the upstairs living area. In fact, you are not supposed to use fire escapes unless there is an emergency. Sometimes they are used for upstairs apartments, so the tenant can go out whenever they want without disturbing the landlord (who lives below).

Perhaps these outside stairs were built afterwards – that the second floor was an addition to the house, and rather than punch a hole in the first floor, they simply put the entrance outside.



Some are quite mysterious.

Here are some that I don’t really like. It is good to have a negative example every now and then to understand where the boundaries are.

These aren’t very solid looking, and are inside.

Something about the stairs doubling back I don’t like, as well as the open sky.

Another doubling back, and also inside. One flight is completely not attached or railed.

These look dangerous. I seem to not like outside stairs going down.

Especially these – I feel like I’d pitch right into the sea.


Here are some other interesting options.




I hope you’ve enjoyed this little side trip into this particular fascination. I plan on making more posts with stairs and paths, so click on that tag if you are interested in more.

(All pictures are from Pinterest)

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