Harry Street is absolutely one of my favorite stairways in the city. Maybe even my #1 favorite.
At Laidley, there are unassuming concrete steps through lush gardens. I especially
enjoy the Madeira Island Geraniums here when they bloom in the Spring.
The highlight is the steep wooden stairway the rest of the way up to Beacon Street, which has the feel of climbing through a forest. At the very top, it gets much steeper and narrower.
This is one of the two longest wood stairways in the city. Filbert Street up to Montgomery is the other one, with both climbing about 90 feet in their wooden sections.
The concrete stairs at the bottom appear to have been built first, for access to the homes on Harry Street. The wooden stairs may have been built in the 1940s, when Beacon Street was initially paved between Miguel Street and Harry.
The western half of Harry Street closer to Beacon marked part of the border of the Diamond Heights redevelopment area in the 1960s. Prior to the development of Diamond Heights, there was only a single house on Beacon Street north of Harry, and that section of Beacon had never been paved.