As those of you know who read my original 2013 post, Pismo Beach Stairway to Nowhere, earlier this year I received conflicting information as to whether a vintage spiral staircase – long since abandoned – had indeed been demolished. This decaying gem, which once transported happy beachcombers safely down the steep rugged cliffs to a picturesque cove, is a source of fond memories to locals. I am happy to finally report that, as of April 2015, the staircase still stands in all its glory, although plans have been proposed for its partial demolition and restoration. In honor of one of my favorite James Bond movies, I titled the image You Only Live Twice, as it seemed rather appropriate.
According to newspaper articles, Noreen Martin, owner of Martin Resorts, has applied for a coastal development permit to repair and reconstruct the staircase, which can only be accessed via kayak or brave souls who dare swim to the beach. At one time the staircase was connected to the coastal bluffs by a bridge that has long since rotted away, leaving the now disconnected stairway alone and decaying from the salty ocean air. Martin’s plans include preserving the existing staircase core and constructing a new spiral staircase around it.
In addition, the existing seawall would be restored and a new pedestrian bridge would be built from the Ventana Grill – located on hotel row just above the staircase – down to the stairs. For those of you who are interested in viewing or photographing the original staircase, I would recommend a timely visit to the Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach before the restoration work commences. And have a lovely James Bond Vesper martini – shaken not stirred – in the lounge. A heap of thanks to Richard Bryant for sending me the newspaper article.