A vertical shaft around which a staircase has been built.

What MIGHT NOT be so obvious about stairwells is their unsung role in pedestrian society. Stairwells are a fabulous place for making out, a good place for bums to sleep in, as they provide welcome shelter from the elements, a perfect hideout for doing some drugs, and a haven for aspiring graffiti writers.

Tall stairwells are fun to sing or play instruments in, and when you tire of those things, you can always amuse yourself spitting down the shaft. Short stairwells are fun to run and jump down as fast as you can to see if you can make yourself dizzy, and they are also sometimes a quiet place to collect your thoughts if you are a recluse living in the urban jungle. We constantly sing the praises of freeways and highways, bridges and overpasses, but how often we neglect our vertically aiding friend, the stairwell.

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