Thursday, February 9, 2012

News of the Neighborhood

Back in August 2010, a car driven by a septuagenarian plunged down the grassy hill at the south end of Second Street and crashed into the abandoned Kaz warehouse below. In recent days--eighteen months after the bizarre accident that claimed the driver's life--a barrier has been installed to prevent such things from happening again. 

Although the owners of nearby properties might wish for something more attractive on their street, the barrier serves the purpose of warning drivers traveling south on Second Street that the roadway does not continue on the far side of Allen Street. 

Yesterday, another barrier--this one temporary--appeared beside the first one. The new barrier blocked access to the stairs leading down to Cross Street and Tanners Lane.

Was the second barrier erected to inconvenience and discourage the volunteers who feed the feral cats at the Animalkind feeding station located a few steps down from the top of the stairs? Happily, this was discovered not to be the case. 

Further investigation revealed that the stairs had been cordoned off at the top and the bottom because repairs were being made to some crumbling concrete steps.    


  1. Do you know if these stairs are private or city owned? Just curious as I use them frequently...

  2. SlowArt: The stairway is city property and has been there for a very long time--probably since the mid-19th century, although it is unlikely that there were concrete steps back then. The 1873 atlas map of the First Ward makes it appear that Second Street extends down to Cross Street and on to Montgomery Street. I doubt that it ever did, although shifting Lake Albany clay and consequent landslides may have made the inclines behind Allen Street and at the end of Montgomery Street much steeper than they once were. The Robert Taylor House, down at the bottom of the staircase, has a South Second Street address.