Mission Stairs Conserve Space (Mar, 1948)

Mission Stairs Conserve Space

Although staggered stairs may sound like an architect’s nightmare, they’re a practical way of reaching a small upstairs room without utilizing too much floor space. Stairs of this type were often used in the old Spanish missions of the Southwest.

Pictured above are the stairs in the Spanish style custodian’s home in a Texas state park. These were made from two logs of 24″ diameter, one red elm and the other hack-berry. After opposite sides were squared off, steps with a 12″ tread and 12″ rise were sawed the length of each log. Then they were installed in an offset manner.

This gives the effect of a stairway with a 6″ rise and 12″ tread. However, the horizontal distance between the first riser and a vertical line from the landing is only half what a normal stairway of these dimensions would require.—Isabella II. Alden.

2 comments
  1. [...] Modern Mechanix – source of Mission Stairs photo [...]

  2. Tom says: December 27, 20082:57 pm

    Hey I just finished a stairbuilding course here at Algonquin College, and I must say that to say this set is a space saveris an understatement. This style of stair can have everything that anyone could want in a comfortable stair, like having a gentle incline and even rise and run that is so sought after by good stairbuilders while being an excellent compliment to a small house that is so sought after these days where energy efficiency is the key word for this decade. Less interior space means more efficient heating and cooling, so ideas like this mean that fewer raw materials are being used for stair construction, and percious interior space can be maximized. cudos to the builder for it!

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.