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

Give Us a Call

Have an event we should know about? Know of a partnership we should highlight on the podcast? How about a collaboration? We’d love to hear from you!

We’re always looking for new Pittsburgh stories to share. If you leave a message we just might feature your pick in our newsletter or on our podcast.

Give us a call and leave a message. We want to hear from you!


* Please note, By leaving a message on this service, you consent to your voice being recorded and used by Very Local Pittsburgh in The Slaw podcast and elsewhere.

Subscribe to The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh podcast

The Slaw Podcast is available on:

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

[Hearst Television participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites.]

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

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

Painting My Way Through Life: Pittsburgh (And Beyond) Through The Eyes of Artist Ron Donoughe

Ron Donoughe has spent over 30 years painting the Pennsylvania landscape, especially Pittsburgh. When you don’t find him capturing the spirit of his paintings on location, you’ll likely find him in his Lawrenceville studio – where he’s watched the neighborhood transform through his windows.

With a potential sale of his building looming in 2022, we chatted with Donoughe about his artistic journey thus far, what might come next, and Pittsburgh through his eyes.

“Better than a tent” this Greensburg Airbnb is only $15/night 

The accommodations are minimal, but the price can’t be beat. This Airbnb shed is available just outside of Pittsburgh in Greensburg for just $15/night.

Not your typical Asian takeout — a guide to international takeout food in Pittsburgh

Let’s talk international food from Korea, Thailand, India, Uzbekistan and more! This isn’t your typical takeout box.