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. Marc

    this is dumb news, plenty of stairs have no bottom, less glass.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Daniela

    simple solution: frost the glass, lets focus our attention to something more important like soldiers risking their lives everyday, or fighting world hunger and poverty

    June 10, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Stephen

    Fiona - What sense does it make for a security guard to warn women not to walk up the stairs, when the guard can plainly see there's nobody standing underneath the stairs to sneak a look? This is like some weird Candid Camera episode to see what stupid things people will do when instructed by an authority figure in uniform.

    And, let's imagine you're right about the line of view - which I don't think you are. But even if you were, so what's the big deal? If some desperate pervert is stupid enough to stand and gawk under the stairs, in full view of everyone, I should think any woman would delight in watching him get nailed by security. I mean, what's he even going to be able to see? What can be glimpsed beneath those stairs while trying to get the right angle as the view is interrupted by moving shoes and clothing, and opaque stairs? And finally, if the courthouse has enough spare guards to inconvenience every woman by telling her not to walk up and down the stairs, wouldn't it make better sense to just let the women use the stairs in peace, and instead tell the occasional dope standing underneath gawking upward to get the hell out of there?

    Utterly ridiculous.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. SB

    I foresee a series, CNN! Follow up your insightful "Glass stair cases not dress friendly" story with "Open stair cases not dress friendly", "Sudden air currents not dress friendly", "Getting in and out of cars not dress friendly" and "Riding amusement park rides not dress friendly". It's your job to inform the people. Don't be discouraged by the naysayers who say this isn't news. THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW!

    June 10, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Justin

    God forbid someone catches a peek of your granny panties or that creature living therein. Heh... they'll report anything these days...

    June 10, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. E5Mouse

    Just take the freaking Elevator!!!

    June 10, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rich

    This is a great reason for me to break out my lounge chair and a Pina Colada. Anyone got the address of this courthouse?

    June 10, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stephen

    I think this judge flatters herself by imagining anyone desperate enough to squint at whatever lurks in the dark recesses of her robe. It'd take more than a couple dozen pina coladas to get me under those stairs . . .

    June 10, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. D3xt3r

    OMG, this is so funny. LOL. You ladies all know you want someone staring up your dress, deep deep down you want someone looking up there.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jerry

    How about painting the glass? Adding opaque panels to the risers? Tape?

    Duh !

    June 10, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. John W

    Frosted or colored vinyl, applied second surface will diffuse it enough so no one will get any cheap thrills. A good, fairly inexpensive fix. I love how she speculated that men designed this. "Clearly" no women could have possibly been involved (and simply just didn't think it through).

    June 10, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. kerry

    The designers knew full well what they were doing. Men are stupid, but not stupid when it comes to see-through anything.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. hntrfmhades

    EasyRemedy: make the stairs reflective from below, but not from above, then folks can look down and not be seen from below. If it's not been done before, it may win a design award. If it does I WANT MY CUT of the money involved.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bill Fitzgerald

    Another article with no redeeming value.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Adam

    The first step towards a civil society is trust. The second is innovation. It would be a shame to alter an artist's vision to appease some brittle women.

    June 10, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
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