Timeline Article: The Grand Staircase Is Flooded

Water bursts through the dome and floods the staircase.
Painting By: Ken Marschall
Monday, April 15, 1912

At around 2:15am, the elegant First Class Grand Staircase succumbs to the sea. Not only is water quickly rising up the stairs from the decks below, but also water bursts through the glass dome from above.

The dome was located atop of the First Class Entrance deck house on the boat deck. The dome was surrounded by an enclosure with a skylight.

Staircase Dome Enclosure with Skylight.
It was around this point during the sinking that the water would have submerged the skylight, forcing it's way into the ship through the skylight and the dome.

What Happened To The Grand Staircase?

It has been a subject of debate as to what exactly happened to the staircase after the sinking.

It is worth noting that the staircase that was created for James Cameron's film "Titanic", was almost a perfect replica of the original. When the movie set was purposely flooded, the staircase became dislodged unexpectedly. 

Although a movie set is not the original, it is logical to assume that with the staircase being made of oak, some of the more fragile pieces could have come lose from their fastenings and floated out.

Whatever the case may be, survivor testimonies claim pieces of stairs, balustrades, and other debris were floating on the surface just after Titanic went down. 

There is evidence of debris from the staircase located forward and aft of its original location within the wreck of the bow section. This plus other evidence solidly supports an event of violent circulating hydraulic forces taking place within the bow section during its decent and impact with the ocean bottom.

However, most of the staircase was built into the structure of the ship, and even though it may have damaged, the majority of it would have remained with the ship until the wood and steel framing gradually disappeared.