Pittsburgh Steps

Ep. 15 Laura Zurowski’s quest to climb all of the Pittsburgh Steps

Following the book by Bob Regan “Pittsburgh Steps: The Story of the City’s Public Stairways” artist Laura Zurowski is climbing and documenting all of the steps of Pittsburgh.

by Lindsay Patross | May 26, 2020

We recorded this interview with Laura back in February, but with the nice weather and folks looking to get outdoors, you can check out Laura’s website or grab a copy of the book “Pittsburgh Steps: The Story of the City’s Public Stairways” and explore Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.

Laura Zurowski’s quest to climb all of the steps

After discovering the book “Pittsburgh Steps: The Story of the City’s Public Stairways” at Wildcard in Lawrenceville, artist Laura Zurowski is climbing and documenting all of the steps in the City of Pittsburgh.

Follow Mis.Steps

Bob Regan’s book: “Pittsburgh Steps: The Story of the City’s Public Stairways”

Bob Regan is a lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh who would ride his bike around town and see the staircases leading up different hillsides. Regan documented all of the steps in Pittsburgh, as even the city didn’t have a listing of all of these public staircases.

Regan’s first book was published in black and white in 2004 and sells for more than $100 on Amazon. The book was updated in 2015 and is available at local book stores, Biblio and Amazon.

Steps and Craigslist Missed Connections

Her project is named Mis.Steps because it initially had a component where she posted the photographs on the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. Laura started documenting the steps and posting to Missed Connections in July 2017. In March 2018, Craigslist changed the Missed Connections format and photos were no longer allowed. You can read more about Craigslist’s changes and Mis.Steps here.

Learn more about Laura’s photography and printing process

  • Laura uses a Polaroid Spectra camera from the 1980s; you can read more about Laura’s Polaroid here.
  • The Mis.Steps prints and trading cards are printed on a Risograph; you can learn more about this retro printing process here.

Some of Laura’s favorite steps in Pittsburgh

Downing Street // Polish Hill


Halsey Street // Marshall-Shadeland


St. Ives Street // California-Kirkbride


You can see more of the steps from the California-Kirkbride neighborhood here. Trip #136 on Marvista Street features steps that lead to a street where all of the houses have been demolished.

Romeo Street // South Oakland (featuring Pittsburgh Steps author -Bob Regan – on his 80 birthday!)


Middle Street // East Allegheny (a painting of location serves as the cover illustration to the Pittsburgh Steps book)


More Pittsburgh City Steps resources

Check out https://pittsburghpa.gov/citysteps/ for the City of Pittsburgh’s city-wide steps assessment.

Dean Bog on Pittsburgh Steps

Pittsburgh filmmaker Dean Bog created a short documentary about the steps of Pittsburgh.

A very Pittsburgh Collaboration: Walk the Burgh & Wigle Whiskey

Whiskey Walk: Walk the Burgh Tours and Wigle Whiskey team up to share some whiskey history. Take a walking tour of Downtown Pittsburgh, learn about the Whiskey Rebellion and sample some Wigle Whiskey. $25/person

Interested in some other Prohibition stories…

Events: Northside Mardi Gras // Feb. 15-25

The Northside Leadership Conference has organized a 10-day, neighborhood-wide celebration for Mardi Gras. You can see the entire schedule of events here. Follow the Northside Mardi Gras Facebook page for updates.

The celebration ends with a Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday Party at the Allegheny Elks Lodge #339. Tickets are $10, available here.

EMBED: https://www.facebook.com/northsidemardigras/photos/a.446133162246358/1237011689825164/?type=3&theater

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Header Image: Laura Zurowski, Leister Street to Hunnel Street , Spring Hill-City View Trip #309

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Lindsay Patross

Lindsay Patross

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

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