South Side Slopes

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is many kinds of city: it’s a sports city, it’s a robotics city, it’s a ketchup city. But at its most essential, Pittsburgh is a city of steep hills. In the early 1900s, public staircases were built all around the city to help people navigate challenging terrain. 

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Brian Oswald is pretty familiar with the steps of the South Side Slopes.

Adam Jette

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is tackling the task of renovating one of Pittsburgh’s community steps through a neighborhood-driven public art project titled “The Oakley Street Mosaic Steps.”

“Mosaic steps” are much more common in Europe and California and are seen by countless passers-by every day. The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association wanted to create a similar, yet unique to Pittsburgh effect, on a few sets of city steps.

Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

On Saturday, step climbers made their way up, down (and up and down) the South Side Slopes as part of the 14th annual StepTrek.

With a focus on maintaining the neighborhood's numerous sets of public steps, the event combines history, fitness and photography as walkers take self-guided tours of the hillside community. The event is organized by the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association.