There were news stories and a Nov. 7 letter ("Save the Steps") that gave the impression that the Monastery neighborhood was upset over the steps being upgraded. The residents who live on Monastery Street, including myself, have been trying to get the steps replaced for some time and were delighted to see the project started and then instantly dismayed when the South South Neighborhood Association went to the city to have it stopped without a single conversation with any of us affected by the problems of the old steps.
Unfortunately, unlike men, not all South Side steps were created equal, and the Monastery steps were a mistake from day one, an economical "one size fits all" solution because they were upgrading a lot of wooden steps in the 1950s with these concrete forms. In the best of shape they were narrow, making entering and leaving our homes difficult with anything larger than a grocery bag. For those of us who have shoveled them for 20 years they are not a wonderful delight, and unlike the wonderful connector steps, which are great and need to be supported by groups like the SSNA, these steps are an eyesore at eye level.
So the plan to lower the profile of the street with less use of concrete and longer areas without steps is a major improvement in our properties and quality of life here on the slopes, knowing that we have a beautiful vista of the city, and an incredible view of a pre-Civil War monastery, which will be framed by houses on both sides and no sign of the crumbling concrete of the 1950s.
South Side Slopes