Map creator Thomas Horton and Amy Boehm admire a decorative arch that is part of the Wilcox Wall stairway on Seattle's Queen Anne Hill.
Their names lend an air of mystery to an otherwise commonplace subject: stairways. The West Boston Haunted Stair, the West Howe Jurassic and the Comstock Grand Dame are three enticing spots among some 120 staircases noted on the "Map of the (oft) Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill."
To proud Queen Anne resident, architect and newly minted mapmaker Thomas Horton, there are some stairways in Venice that are "almost" as cool as Queen Anne's steps.
"One of the jokes on my map is that the stairways are 'oft' pedestrian," Horton says. "Obviously, they're for feet, but the other meaning of pedestrian is mundane or everyday, and this is not always true with stairways ... sometimes they're really quite exciting."
Horton likes the "hidden in plain sight" quality of Queen Anne stairways — how the delightful is revealed in one simple backward glance over the shoulder on a well-placed landing; yielding an unexpected view, or framing a historic detail hidden in stone.
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