On occasion while riding my bike in Detroit, I roll past cement stairs that lead to nowhere. They are thick well-built, one piece molded steps made of poured cement. The few I’ve seen usually have only three to four steps at most. The mysterious cement stairs seem to be concentrated in small areas close to railroad tracks. They may at one time have led to a small manufacturing facility, or were used to access the trains for whatever reason. The heavy-duty stairs are accessible from sidewalks in isolated areas of the city that are now in disrepair and lightly used by pedestrians.
The shadowy steps lead to nothing more than an empty field or a compact piece of land that has reverted to a wooded grove. The gray colored stairways can be rather hard to see at times. They are usually surrounded or covered by overgrown invasive weeds, vines, and other plants. That’s especially true in the summer months when the wild plants are full of green leaves.
In exploring these small lots where the steps are located, I’ve yet to see any evidence of a building or any other structure. Sadly, most of the areas where the steps are located have been used as dumping grounds for old tires and other trash.
Although I don’t see these stairs much on my ride, but when I do they have always intrigued me. It would make sense if they were used as an entrance to an apartment building, bus stop, etc., but the ones I have seen go to nothing. Located in out-of-the-way places, close to railroad tracks, it makes me wonder what their purpose was. Detroit is full of mysteries, and this is one of them.
Does anyone have any ideas on the purpose of these mystery stairs?