Friday, September 12, 2008

Corralitas Public Staircase

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 9, 2008, Corralitas Staircase. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Corralitas Staircase is an impressive six flights of steep concrete stairs between the bottom of Corralitas Drive at Rosebud Ave. and the top section of the hill. It appears on the 1922 map in the real estate brochure for the neighborhood. Like other City staircases, it was built for easy access to the Red Car Trolleys. Today, people come from all over the neighborhood to use the stairs for exercise, some even driving to get here.

Despite being a very well-used public staircase, the Corralitas Staircase is in a severe state of disrepair. The handrail is detached from the concrete at the second level and rust streams down the retaining wall. As with the Silver Lake Ave. Staircase, graffiti dots the stairs and weeds thrive in the cracks. The uppermost support wall detached from the stairs many years ago, when a neighbor accidentally backed his truck over the edge of the staircase.

Photo: Edwardson, March 12, 2008. Corralitas Staircase. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

A 2002 draft of the City of Los Angeles survey, "Stairway Task Force," placed our Corralitas Staircase in the top 18 public staircases needing repair out of more than 200 staircases citywide. Even then, the report recommended removal and replacement of 40 sq.ft of concrete.

After record rainfall in 2005, the support wall of the third level of stairs separated, shifting further when earth was removed for construction of the adjacent homes starting in 2006.

Photo: Edwardson, October 11, 2006.

Unfortunately, even when the City was flush with property tax dollars at the peak of the recent real estate boom, the City had no budget for staircase repair. The City treats the staircases like public streets, yet neglects repairs and the staircases become a liability.