Staircases That Lead To… Nowhere

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Throughout the time humans have inhabited the planet, they have built many unique structures and achieved many incredible feats of engineering. One of these feats was the invention of the staircase. Throughout the staircase’s history it has been a way for people to move up in life and get to where they need to go. Unfortunately, not everything lasts forever and over time, many staircases have lost their strength or function.

There are staircases that are thousands of years old, carved into rocks; ones that were once used before losing their connection to a building; and stairs that just don’t make sense at all. Here is a short collection of abandoned staircases that were photographed around the world. They are, indeed, staircases that lead to nowhere.

Stairway on a house. Offenbach Marktplatz, Frankfurt, Germany.
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Alcatraz, San Francisco, CA.
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Staircase of a demolished house. Looks like a dinosaur. Columbus, Ohio, US.
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‘Winding stairs’ monument by Rudi van de Winton, dedicated to those who lost their lives in a 1977 air disaster. Tenerife, Spain.

Staircase sculpture at the KPMG Building in Munich, by Olafur Eliasson, entitled ‘Rewriting’.
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Ancient stairs carved into rock. Petra, Jordan.
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‘Crouching Tiger and Turtle, Magic Mountain’, by sculptors Ulrich Genth and Heike Mutter in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
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An old brewhouse, Philadelphia, US.
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Boston, Massachusetts, US.
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Stairs on the bank of the River Danube. Budapest, Hungary.
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Michel De Broin’s mind bending sculpture: ‘Révolutions’. Parc Maisonneuve-Cartier, Montreal, Canada.
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Center of the World, Felicity, California (salvaged from the Eiffel Tower in 1989).
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via gizmodo

Shawn Saleme

Shawn Saleme is a contributing writer for Visual News. A 4th generation San Franciscan, Shawn has developed an adventurous spirit that has taken him to over 55 countries. His degree in cultural anthropology shapes his perspective and thirst to socially experiment in a rapidly shifting planet. His work has been featured in the Seattle Times, The Globalist and the Daily Mail. Currently he is writing a book about the shared economy. Connect with him @shawnsaleme.

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  1. You should look into the former Strasbourg (France) bridge (Winston Churchill or something). The city purposefully left an empty staircase there in the middle of the park as a reminder of the former configuration of the city.
    I always thought they had brilliant urbanists to think that way.

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