from 1912 ad 3

The Haddon Hill Stairs (also known as the Haddon Steps) were a stairway connecting the Haddon Hill neighborhood to MacArthur Blvd. The right-of-way and some of the steps still exist, but it has been fenced off for many years and is overgrown. The top of the steps are across the street from the Kaiser house.

At the top of the steps there is a large plinth with no statue. It wasn't always empty, though:

"The most notable feature is a splendid reclining puma, modeled by Arthur Putnam, the well known sculptor. The puma rests upon a great block of concrete and is surrounded by a Roman balustrade, all of which stands at the top at the splendid flight of marble white steps 140 feet in length. The puma is crouching and appears to be creeping toward its prey. From this point one looks down into the shady depths of Sather park and to the hills beyond." 1

Arthur Putnam was a well known sculptor based in San Francisco, who worked with other artists including painter Xavier Martinez. Putnam's career was cut short by a brain tumor. He survived the surgery, but "as a result of the operation, Putnam was paralyzed on his left side and his formal perceptions were impaired." 2

By 1926, the stairs had fallen into disrepair, and the city ordered them fixed. 5

Cheney photo dated 2-25-25 4 1928 Sanborn map 5

CC SA-BY Our Oaklandstairs in 2015 CC SA-BY Our Oakland

Links and References

SF Call September 28, 1912 1

  1. Oakland Boasts of Great Progress San Francisco Call September 28, 1912
  2. Arthur Putnam on Wikipedia
  3. Haddon Hill ad San Francisco Call September 21, 1912
  4. Oakland History Group, March 31, 2017
  5. Oakland History Center by way ofThe Haddon Stairway blog
  6. Haddon Stairs Ordered Fixed Oakland Tribune December 3, 1926