South Side Slopes Steps Get Colorful Makeover

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The steps of Pittsburgh have served generations of residents on the South Side Slopes. Now, one popular set of steps is getting a colorful facelift.

The South Side is a mosaic of many cultures.

Artist Laura Jean McLaughlin and her friend, Christine Wells, are bringing color to the path above Josephine Street one step at a time.

The artistic steps grew out of a Kickstarter project, led by neighborhood residents.

“I painted out the entire design in my studio, and then put them on boards, had to cut them out into five and a half inch sections, put them on boards with mesh. Brought them to the workshops, and I taught people how to break tile and adhere them to the mesh,” said McLaughlin.

Hundreds of neighbors chipped in on the painstaking process.

“It was really a collaborative, community endeavor,” McLaughlin said.

There will be 77 colorful risers, hundreds of hours of work. It represents and industrial past, and a more idyllic future.

“There’s a girl standing with smokestacks, but there are flowers coming out of the smokestacks, and she’s also on a bed of flowers,” says McLaughlin of the mosaic.

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It all begins with little bits of tile.

“The reaction we’re getting from people driving by in the community, I’m really thrilled with it,” McLaughlin said.

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