Glass staircase not dress friendly
A glass staircase is causing women to rethink taking the stairs.
June 9th, 2011
08:44 PM ET

Glass staircase not dress friendly

For years, women across America have dealt with glass ceilings. But now, women in Ohio have a new problem - glass floors.

A $105 million courthouse opened in Franklin County, Ohio, on Monday, but the builders seemed to have forgotten one thing - the bottom of the stairs, reports affiliate 10TV. The staircase is made of glass.

Dress wearers need to avoid taking the stairs, according to Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch, who wears dresses under her robes almost every day.

"I wear dresses because that's my personal choice," Lynch told 10TV. "When you stand under the stairwell, you can see right up through them.”

She speculates that men, who didn’t take half the population into account, designed the stairs.

Attorney Lori Johnson was startled by the transparent stairs. She worries not only about stares, but also how many cell phones have cameras attached.

“The next thing you know, you’re on the internet,” Johnson said, according to 10TV. “It sounds like a lawsuit in the making.”

While security guards warn women about taking the stairs, it seems most are just hoping people will be mature about the situation.

"They hope people will be mature? That's not a solution," Lynch said to 10TV. "If we had mature people that didn't violate the law, we wouldn't have this building."

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Filed under: Architecture • Courts • Justice • Ohio
soundoff (739 Responses)
  1. mindy

    Another example of governmental stupidity, this one is just a little more egregious than most.

    June 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. InvaderZim

    There are plenty of open stairs in other places - not with glass risers, but no risers at all. What makes this different? Frosting the glass or sandblasting it would solve the problem. Definitely cheaper than paying someone to stand at the top or bottom to warn women away from the stairs.

    June 28, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Randall

    I think it's strange that women are still thinking people even care. It's just a stair case. Most women wouldn't have cared. The one that is complaining hasn't got anything worth looking at in the first place. And you'll probably find lesbians hanging out under the stairs since thats the way most people are going anyway.

    June 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocco

      That's naive and inappropriate.

      June 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. GW

    Um, instead of paying guards to warn women when they approach the stairs, why not have guards make sure no one's underneath peeping upwards???

    June 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocco

      Cause the guards would probably be underneath peeking!

      June 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Raymond Anderson

    Geez, And some women don't wear panties,

    June 29, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Hammer

    I am a man who wears a kilt - old school.. What about me!! What about me!!

    June 30, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. caerbannog

    A sure cure for dudes who are tempted to "sneak a peek".

    Send a bunch of kilt-wearing Scottish bagpippers up those stairs (full commando-style, that is).

    That'll learn 'em!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. See Thru Builder

    I guess that it is of little consequence that the architecture firm that did this building is woman-owned. If this is to be the standard of design, all those glass railings need to be shielded or all skirt-weraing persons should be warned to stay away from the edge. This will probably include every shoppping mall in Amaerica. The architect's renderings clearly show these stairs and the clear risers so i guess no one was paying any attention during the presentations. Open risers are not uncommon in older buildings. This is a big deal about nothing.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Skirts in Georgia

      What about the thousands of stair cases and stair areas in other parts of the USA? Are we supposed to redesign them because of these few who seem to suddenly find this as a flaw? I have to agree with See Thru Builder, a big deal about nothing. I love wearing my skirts to work, about town, everywhere I go. Do these women have so little else to worry about in their lives? Just sayin...

      July 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Richard Carpenter

    The architect must have forgotten the recliner chairs.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. TPF

    A very simple fix is to use a solid colored vinyl film on the glass. Enough said. Situation is being blown out of proportion.
    We used this vinyl film on an office building with the offices on the first floor and it worked and looked great.

    July 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NCMom

    Gosh, what was the architect smoking, drinking, snorting when he, or God forbid, she was designing this building? Same question goes to those who approved spending millions on this project! Sure, no one is supposed to be under the stairwell staring up ladies' dresses, but PLEASE! Let's just put clear acrylic doors on bathroom stalls too while we're at it and tell people to close their eyes when they go in. Sheesh!

    July 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      I don't like open riser or transparent riser stairs. I don't like them because they feel flimsy. They feel dangerous even if they're not. As a professional designer, I know they aren't. I know that structurally they're fine, but psychologically, ***I*** don't like them. However, this is nothing new. The designer wasn't being a bone-head. Did you ever see the old TV show The Brady Bunch? The stair in that house is open riser – from 40 years ago. I can name a dozen more in public buildings, and while, again, I don't LIKE them, please, the designer isn't being a bone-head. S/he might have been told to do it. Cheers! Will

      July 8, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Debra

    Cover the risers with either opaque vynal or for a sharper look, reflective glass. Is this a problem, yes. With the advent of everyone and his brother having the capability to take photos or video with a phone and posting it to the internet the female lawyer and Judge are correct, a lawsuit in the making.

    July 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CJA

    If they are worried about this, all they need to do is sand blast the under side. That will but a light "frost" on the glass and not spoil the design, light would still go through

    July 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brent

    Attention all men. Don't wear shorts while walking up the stairs. Women might get a peek up them and see why you actually drive that big truck.

    July 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dani

    That judge sure has a b * tchy tone of voice. She just sounds like an unhappy feminazi.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
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