We took our third stairway walk back in September on our son's last weekend in Los Angeles. It's a testimony to how disorganized and busy I've been that it's taken this long to write about it.
Like all of Wright's textile block houses, it leaked. The blocks were mixed from dirt at the site, which weakened them. A young Rudolph Schindler took over from Wright's son Lloyd supervising the construction, Schindler painted some of the blocks, and mixed mortar into them, which annoyed Wright far more than the fact that he may have had an affair with Mrs. Freeman, a modern dancer.
As you can see, it's a bit shabby. For an interview with the house's caretaker and a great slide-show, read this article by Mark Hertzberg.
We backtracked on Glencoe and found the next staircase, which took us up to Paramount Drive. This wound down and met Camrose again, giving a stunning view of the hills around us, houses of all kinds perched there.
Camrose wound downhill past this amazing orange house, and turning left at Glencoe again, deposited us at the foot of the stairs of Broadview Terrace.
Halfway up, Broadview Terrace intersects another stairway walk street, Los Altos Place.
A little clearing here allows you to step off the walkway and take in the view. And then continues, steeply, further up.
Another short flight, and you're at the top of the tower.
The concrete bridge connects the residences to the elevator. At the end of Broadview Terrace, one overlooks the parking lot for the Hollywood Bowl.
From here, the gently sloping walk street Alta Loma Terrace takes you down to the bottom again. Heavily shaded and serene, you feel as though you've entered a secret world.
A banana leaf droops over the fence here. There's a glimpse of a heavily laden orange tree there. Bougainvillea sprawls above the walkway, and palms wave overhead. The occasional bronze plaque marks a home behind a gate as a historical structure, or the home of a celebrity or public figure.
A note about celebrities - this being Los Angeles, like all neighborhoods, the High Tower neighborhood boasts some celebrity history. Past residents include Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White in the Disney cartoon.
A jog to the right, then a short flight of steps, and we're down into a broad lower street. An old faded sign points up to where we came from.
Here at the base of Alta Loma Terrace, the residents' garages are draped with mature bougainvillea.
The street opens back onto busy Highland Avenue. The huge scale of the broad road and the traffic noise suddenly startle. After the hushed closeness of Alta Loma Terrace, it's like being dragged out into the world again.