Modern elevators have made “skyscrapers” possible—buildings with so many floors that reaching them only by stairway access would be a ridiculous and exhausting proposition. And so stairways have become hidden in blandly utilitarian “fire exit” stairwells. Even buildings now designed with no more than two or three floors save space with elevators rather than having a central stairway. And so one of the glories of our most beautiful architecture is rapidly disappearing, being preserved only in private mansion residences. It is a pity.
There is something magical in a stairway—this structure endlessly “in motion,” indicating movement up and down, while remaining in reality, anchored and motionless.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
“My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.”
“The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down.”
– Samuel Johnson
“Stairs are climbed step by step.”
– Turkish Proverb
“Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.”
– John Steinbeck
“It’s like climbing a staircase. I’m on the top of the staircase, I look behind me and I see the steps. That’s where I was.”
– Jeanne Moreau