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. John

    I mean seriously, forget the video, just look at the giant photograph above the article. You can clearly see the viewing angle doesn't allow for any real peeping. The judge who is complaining wears a dress, not a miniskirt. It is IMPOSSIBLE that anyone would ever look up her skirt. And a security guard warning of potential peeping? Stupid. How about just throw out anyone standing below the staircase looking up? You really need to inform every woman she's a potential victim? What an oversensitive society we live in where people can't be content unless they are finding problems where there is really none to be found...

    June 10, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • DEE

      Yup. You're a guy

      June 10, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Somebody's being sensitive. . .

      June 10, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry Manback

      @DEE, how'd you know he was a guy, the fact that he's using logic, reason, and observational skills to deduce something, rather than emotionally overreacting to it?

      June 10, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Just saying.....

    For the men who are refusing to believe that these stairs could be a problem: put on a dress and hike your hairy cheeks up the stairs and let us snap a video for utube.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. chicagoannie

    @John....those are most definitely glass stairs and one can see through them, especially standing directly underneath. There are creepy perverted men who WILL loiter there just to sneak a peek. And even creepier pervs who will videotape or snap pics under there. The concern is not ridiculous or asinine. If you had a daughter, would you want her walking on those stairs in a dress?!

    June 10, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Stairs are not glass – just the risers. Even the judge made that clarification in the video if you list to it.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • NoodleHat

      DIAF. Go jump off a cliff with no parachute.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nimrod TV

    look man, i think weiner needs to weiner in on this.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. jtsd

    I've got a simple solution. block off the area under the stairs, where nobody can stand there and look up. Jeez. What a shocker. Imagine that.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. TGG

    Why doesn't someone just etch the glass surfaces? That would solve the problem and still allow light to filter through.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Arne

    Yes the glass stairs are a bad idea which shouldn't have occurred, but all the talk about a redesign that I have heard is a total waste of money. Spend a hundred, maybe two, and buy some black paint and then paint them. Easy, inexpensive, problem solved!!

    June 10, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      http://www.ifoapplestore.com/stores/glass_staircase.html

      Ever been in an Apple store?

      June 10, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Charlie

    I thought judges were supposed to deal with facts, but I guess it's not the case for this Judy Lynch, she has no proof that no women were involved in the review of the steps but she rants like a 3 year old about it. She should be kicked off the bench for being incompetent.

    As to the steps – simple, replace the risers, or score them so they are sufficiently opaque.

    Case closed.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Elizabeth

    Why didn't anybody notice before the building was unveiled? The steps can be roughed so they are not transparent. We live in the age of cell phones and cameras everywhere.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Professional Engineer

    This is a legitimate complaint. Who is the perv that approved this design? These stairs will be covered with carpet in no time at all. Not only that, I like to see the stair treads I walk on. Clear stairs are a saftey hazard. I nominate this building for DUMB ARCHITECT of the year award!

    June 10, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      The stairs aren't glass – just the risers. Did they teach you to read in Engineering school – they did at mine.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rav

    Just tint the back of each glass step.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. John Kantor

    IIf you're wearing underwear, why would you care? And if you aren't, then you probably want the attention.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Josh

    The stairs are not glass – the risers are glass. I have seen stairs like this before and never heard of any complaints. Maybe the issue is you can get in behind the stairs to view. Someone should get a woman in a reasonable skirt/dress and have her walk the stairs while they tape. Have her wear shorts underneath to keep us all safe. If they can show that you can reasonably get inappropriate views, they should cover the risers with opaque sheets (so you get the light, but not a clear visual). You would think a lawyer and a Judge would have enough sense to create some evidence (see above idea) if their complaint is valid.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. "Day o umba day o mambu ji ay o..." looker12

    Whew! Finally a benefit of being overweight! Thighs stuck together is now a plus! Natural insurance against "Peeping Toms". In support of this effort, please pass me the pastries. 🙂

    June 10, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tom S

    The risers are glass, the treads are opaque. As John pointed out before, this is no different than stairs with treads only. Common a millon times over.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      Not so, Tom. Stairs without risers have some overlap, which provides shielding from below. Because these stairs have risers, there is no overlap, obviously. Hence the view.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
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