A FAVORITE RETURNS
Whether they're Staten Islanders or not, Walking is Transportation.com readers wrote to say how much they enjoyed "The Vertical Life," a series posted here last October, showing and telling how residents of the island's North Shore negotiate the peaks and valleys we live on, in, under or near.
There were omissions, of course, and readers were quick to point them out--for which I'm grateful.
Tompkinsville reader/neighbor Richard Wonder appreciated the photo and description I posted of the stair/walkway on the north side of Scribner Avenue, going west from Westervelt to Bismarck. But he wondered why I hadn't included the stair/walkway on the south side as well.
Other readers wondered why there was no mention of stairways that used to go somewhere but don't anymore. Still other readers simply wanted to see more of same.
So here goes--the first few of what I hope will be a continuing series. If there's a hillside walkway or stair I've missed, please e-mail me at email@example.com and let me know. Thanks!
The Two Rectories
This hand-colored postcard, postmarked 1911, shows St. Peter's R.C. Church on St. Marks Place near Westervelt Avenue, St. George, Staten Island, prior to the addition of the building's towering campanile, now capped with a gold cross. The Gothic-style frame building to its right was the then-rectory.
This digital image, taken January 9, 2008, shows the much larger rectory that occupies the same site today, set well back from the street, with lawn, plantings and devotional statuary on either side of a central path leading onto the property from the sidewalk.
St. Peter's Stairs to Nowhere
Looking up the hill from Carroll Place, it's clear that the entry steps that interrupted the expanse of stone retaining wall were filled in and cinderblocked over long ago. Much of the path leading to a St. Marks Place house that's no longer there has already been buried by crabgrass, with more to follow. That's the rear of St. Peter's Rectory to the right, with its massive stone retaining wall and formal stairway.
West of the set of blocked stairs shown above is another stairway, also blocked and slowly disappearing, that led from Carroll Place to St. Peter's original St. Marks Place rectory, demolished long ago and replaced with the structure shown at left, seen from the rear.