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FRIDAY FUNNY: An Escherian Stairway Exists?

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Construction & Renovation, FacilityBlog, Featured Post, Friday Funny, Interiors, Topics

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Published on May 17, 2013 with No Comments

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Okay facility managers, this is going to blow your mind—the Escherian Stairwell. Located in Building 7 on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, the stairwell was designed by Filipino architect Rafael Nelson Aboganda when the university moved from downtown Rochester to its current location in Henrietta.

Also known as Penrose steps (after the father/son team of Lionel and Roger Penrose), this impossible phenomenon is based on the idea “of a staircase in which the stairs make four 90-degree turns as they ascend or descend yet form a continuous loop, so that a person could climb them forever and never get any higher. This is clearly impossible in three dimensions.”

Or so it seems. Take a look:

Scott Bureau of RIT News writes, “Michael Lacanilao, a film and animation graduate student at RIT created the video series, ‘Can You Imagine,’ to highlight the many interesting facts, stories, and myths of RIT.

‘Four years can go by quickly, and a lot of us don’t have the time to learn about all the things that RIT does and offers,’ says Lacanilao. ‘When we take the time to venture outside our daily routines, we find that it really is the place where the left brain and right brain collide. I’m proud to be a part of that.’”


So what’s the secret? Is there a secret? Yes there is. And here it is.

The myth is still a myth. You can rest easier now. Oh, and when in doubt, always check Snopes.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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