The Stairway to Nowhere

Nowhere:

  • Not in or to any place.
  • In or at no place, not anywhere.
  • To no result or place, a remote location, not in any place or state.
  • Lacking purpose or sense, with aimless wandering.

Somewhere in Yonkers, there are places that seem to have no purpose, no place, no objective, places that do not offer anything tangible or intangible.  Areas that were one thing one minute and then something else the next without any rhyme or reason.

Buildings that are no longer used for their intended purpose, empty shells, forgotten memories, stagnated destinations and useless public works, many of which are still frozen in time and entombed  into their lifeless forms, for modern-day city dwellers to drive past in wonderment.

Forgive me for going a bit philosophical there, but it is gut-wrenching to see blighted areas of Yonkers and to wonder what was, what is and what will be.

Such is life I suppose and while we have already covered a Door to Nowhere on MyYonkers, what we haven’t covered yet, is a decaying old staircase near Ashburton Ave, once brimming with life and a place of daily functionality, but is now…gasp…a Staircase to Nowhere.

Now I mean this in the most literal sense. It literally goes nowhere and is as big an eyesore in my humble opinion than if the city decided to have an open landfill down by the train station.  Speaking of the city…they should be sorry for this…

And this…

And don’t forget this…

Why?  Has nobody in this neighborhood complained in the last 5, 10, 20 years about this? I seriously doubt it!  Since at least 2008, the dead-end of Baldwin Place, which is where the top portion of the staircase has been fenced off and covered in a massive debris pile, has existed as you see in the photos.

A ruined building still sits in the middle section about halfway up the staircase at 56 North Broadway.  No doubt that this stairwell once served as a major connector for these residents to either North Broadway or Baldwin Place, en route to perhaps Ashburton Ave and beyond.

The city has not only installed new fencing to cover the bottom portion of the staircase, but now you can actually swing the door open and walk up the staircase as I did.

You will come to find however, as the title suggests, that you can only go about halfway up before crumbling concrete stairs and heavy vegetation get in the way. And if that doesn’t slow you down, you will be met by another fence on top, in far worse condition and for those such as myself who have attempted to scale rickety old fences, they are difficult to say the least.

Oh and then once you have scaled the fence…well then remember you still have the disease infested mountain of garbage, dating back to god knows when to jump over as well.  So as I originally stated, it is a staircase to nowhere.

With heavy construction taking place across the street to build a new high-rise Apartment building, my hope is that the Baldwin Stairs will receive some kind of funding for a revitalization effort.

They still can serve a real purpose connecting the upper and lower section of the neighborhood and while nearby staircases to the north do exist, a dilapidated one, sitting in ruin is still in my opinion unacceptable.

Ok…going to find my happy place now 🙂

—-Joshman

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3 thoughts on “The Stairway to Nowhere

  1. This is not only a problem for Yonkers. Dobbs Ferry has a staircase that connects its elementary school with its densest neighborhood, but the staircase fell into disrepair. The school’s insurance carrier forced it to close the staircase about 15 years ago. The alternative route was very long. So all those kids who used to walk to school took buses or were driven.

    It took a federal grant, Safe Routes to Schools, to raise the funds to fix the staircase. It is now open and has doubled the number of kids who walk to school while alleviating car traffic on the crowded roads leading to the school.

    Suffice to say that this grant program is often called pork spending and probably won’t survive the upcoming federal budget cuts….

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