Underwater City - Shicheng China
This one may be a little hard to get to, seeing as how the city it called home has been underwater since 1959, purposely flooded to make way for a dam and hydroelectric station. The 'Lion City" as it is known to locals, is often referred to as the "Atlantis of the East". Mostly forgotten for the last half a decade, the Chinese government recently (2001 and 2011, so kind of recently) has led expeditions to picture the sunken community. As a result, we find this staircase alone in the depths.
Michigan Central Station, Detroit Michigan
Built in 1912, this hub for Michigan's passenger rail industry was left to its own devices in 1988. When it was built it was the largest rail station in the world and handled well over 100,000 people a day. Now it sits, along with this staircase, waiting for someone to magically come up with the 80 million dollars needed to renovate the building.
Military Hospital, Beelitz Germany
Started in 1898 and finished in 1930, this complex has seen more history than most places twice its age. During WWI, Hitler was sent there to recover and before the next war started it became one of the best hospitals in the world to treat tuberculosis. It was heavily bombed during WWII and taken over by the Soviet Union. It was a military hospital until the fall of East Germany in 1990 and has since sat unused, as has this staircase and its stunning ironwork.
An Abandoned Office Building... Somewhere In London?
This picture was taken by a guy named Dan who lives in London. Unable to find any other information on where and when it was taken, we decided to include it anyways seeing as how the design is so awesome and completely and totally non functional (see how the stairs on the right lead into the ceiling?) Maybe Dan will see this and be able to shed some light on what exactly we are looking at. Here is a link to a site where you can find more of his stuff here.
Not stunning at all, but definitely functional. And definitely radioactive. Pripyat, Ukraine, was the city closest to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant when it went haywire. The city was immediately abandoned. These stairs, which once carried many Soviets, and were designed for function rather than anything having to do with aesthetics, now only carry radioactive squirrels.
Abandoned Hospital, Virginia
This one is another anomaly, as it was found on a Google search and only labeled as a hospital in Virginia. What struck us was the wanton usage of both a straight and spiral staircase in the same stairway. Brazen construction like this is not often seen. It made our list for that reason alone. Well, that and it is an abandoned staircase. Technically two.
Hashima Island, Japan
This staircase is on Hashima Island in Japan. It has had many uses over the years, including a labor camp during WWII and a Mitsubishi Coal Mine later on in the century. It peaked at 5,259 residents in 1959. Eventually, petroleum replaced coal as Japan’s dominant energy source and the island was abandoned, including these stairs that one carried thousands of people every day. Now it carries nothing but dust. Fun Fact: There are no indigenous animals or plants on the island. Every piece of vegetation that now grows wild was brought by people.
Church of St Anna, St Petersburg
Originally photographed by user nomiel on Reddit, this staircase from the former church of Saint Anna - then Spartak (A theater) was actually opened up for an exhibit not too long ago. And while the feature and craftsmanship of this staircase are both stunning in their own right, this picture is memorable for the WHAT IS THAT THING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS AND WHY DOES SOMETHING SO CREEPY EXIST?!?!?!
City Hall Station, New York
Originally opened in 1904, this subway station in New York was meant to be a showcase piece of the transit system. Except for no one ever really used it. By the time it was closed down to the public in 1945, less than 600 people a day were going through it. It was set to be reopened in 1995, but that plan was scrapped by 98. As of 2006, you can take tours of it, however, these stairs never quite received the volume of passengers that were expected, and now sit abandoned.
Waverly Hills | Death Tunnel Staircase
Only the bravest of souls will ever lay eyes on these stairs. Waverly Hills is a sanitarium which is known as possibly the most haunted place in the entire world (If you are into that sort of stuff.) It was a TB hospital that opened in 1910 and closed in 1962. During that time some estimates put the death toll at over 63,000. Most of those 63,000 took a ride down this hallway, known as the 'death chute', as it was used to transport the unlucky discretely. These stairs, lonely since their construction, are possibly the creepiest stairs ever constructed.
Old Entrance to La Guarida Restaurant, Havana, Cuba
As far as craftsmanship goes, this abandoned staircase which was once the entrance to the La Guarida Restaurant in Havana Cuba has the rest beat hands down. The restaurant itself is well known for being the location for a popular Cuban movie filmed in 1993 and is now known for some of the most creative dishes in the Caribbean. But what we see when we look at them is a staircase lost, a haunting testament to a stair builder who, like us here at Vision Stairways, was out to create something extraordinary. And underneath all that deterioration, we think he succeeded.
The Titanic Staircase
Not much to see in this picture, except one of the grandest staircases ever built on an ocean-going vessel in its final resting place. We all know the story of the Titanic, But the story of its staircase is lesser known. From Wikipedia: "The decoration of the staircase was a curious combination of styles. The paneling and woodwork were made by master craftsmen in the English William and Mary style. The iron banister grillwork and ormolu garlands were inspired by the French court of Louis XIV." Even after 100 years underwater, if you look really close, the craftsmanship still holds up.
Staircase to Nowhere, Pismo Beach, California
There was once a walkway connected to this beautiful spiral, but it has long since rotted away. Now the only way to get to these stairs is to kayak in. What is most stunning about this staircase is how it outlasted the structure it was made to service. And now it sits with no purpose other than to appear on the occasional Internet list.
“Chateau de Loup”, an abandoned castle, Belgium
Located in Chateau de loup, one of two abandoned castles built by two brothers on the same plot in Belgium, this staircase was constructed in 1913. During both world wars, it was occupied by the Germans. Chateau De Loup was used as a prison camp and nearly completely destroyed, with even the wood from the floor was used for heating. Somehow, however, the staircase was left untouched. Now, over 100 years later and 11 years removed from any inhabitants using it, you can still see its grandeur with barely a glance.
You might be telling yourself "This staircase looks pretty modern and maintained. How could this possibly be on the list?" Because, like the other stairs here, it is abandoned. Located in Ordos, China, known as China's "Ghost City" that was built but never populated, this staircase sits pristine though unused. This may have a touch more sadness than the rest because while the other stairs on this list were all used at one time, this never was. And most likely never will be.
Salt Mine Stairs in Hallstatt, Austria
What are these guys doing looking at this old piece of wood? Nothing much... just moving the oldest staircase known to man! Coming in at 3,000 years old, this old piece of history was found in a bronze age salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria. It was recently moved to Vienna's Natural History Museum to prevent it from being crushed by the weight of the mountain above it.
The Column of Marcus Aurelius
Most of us know the name Marcus Aurelius from the movie "Gladiator", but he was actually a real Roman Emperor. After or during his reign, no one is quite sure since the original dedication has long been destroyed, this column with a spiral staircase enclosed inside of it was erected in Rome. We do know it was completed in 193. Unfortunately, there is not enough space here to go over all the historical significance of these stairs, but a quick Google search, and by quick we mean hours and hours, will cover the basics. Or maybe less. And while it isn't exactly abandoned, we are sure no one is allowed to use them anymore.
Once the site of a diamond mine and at least 1,000 residents, Kolmanskop, Namibia has been left to the desert for over 55 years. And the desert has indeed been taking its due, burying the once thriving mining town under tons and tons of sand, and this staircase has not been spared. One day, thousands of years from now, a civilization might unearth this and think to themselves "What was these guy's problem with balusters?"
Spiral Staircase - Wonderland Amusement Park, China
More abandonment in China, the Wonderland Amusement Park was partially built in 1998, then another attempt to finish it was made in 2008. Due to financial concerns with local officials, both attempts failed. In recent years the surrounding buildings have been either demolished or reclaimed by farmers, including this spiral staircase that goes... much like the park, absolutely nowhere.
Winchester House, more stairs to nowhere
The story behind the Winchester house is pretty creepy. Once occupied by Sarah Winchester, widow of gun magnate William Winchester, it now sits empty. Sarah apparently thought the house was haunted by everyone ever shot down by a Winchester rifle so she had the house constructed in, let's say, interesting ways. To confuse the 'ghosts' she had construction crews work day and night building dead ends all over the house. This led to windows pointing into other rooms instead of outside, doors that go into solid walls, and stair such as this one, which goes absolutely nowhere.