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. M.Arch Student

    Did anybody watch the video? These aren't glass steps, just another form of open risers which are in many places. This instead put a piece of glass as a riser instead of having them open, most likely to meet codes for egress. I haven't looked into codes for government buildings, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were less lenient for safety. Normally stairs have to have a riser unless it is not included as a means of egress during a fire or other emergency in public buildings.

    I see nothing wrong with these stairs, as the steps themselves are solid. Why, then, do we not here an outcry for most every apartment building with open riser stairs? They don't even have the luxury to take an elevator. It's easier to criticize something that's nice than something that isn't. You wouldn't see the same uproar over a public building that wasn't so nicely designed.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Amelia

      Wait – did you just say: "It's easier to criticize something that's nice than something that isn't".
      For real?

      June 10, 2011 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
    • M.Arch Student

      Yes I did. People don't take the time to criticize something that they don't feel is worth criticizing. But when there's something that's magnificent, you can bet there will be people out there whose only intent is to find something wrong with it. Why do we not hear about your next door neighbor in the media, how he got that horrible haircut? Oh, but if Brad Pitt got a bad hair cut, you'd hear everyone talking about it. Why? Because he's a celebrity. "What was he thinking? Why'd he get his hair cut like that?" Whereas your neighbor might get "Oh no, your barber messed up. Don't worry, it doesn't look that bad. It's hardly noticeable."

      This government building would be Brad Pitt. The apartment buildings I refer to would be your neighbors. Not the best analogy but I hope you see where I'm coming from. Something can only be so nice before people try to pick it apart and find flaws.

      June 11, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    "If we had mature people that didn't violate the law, we wouldn't have this building."

    This isn't necessarily true. Maturity doesn't always absolve someone from becoming entangled in legal matters.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Lorenzo

      The guy was obviously thinking criminal matters, which tend to be the majority of what county courthouses see, and not all legal matters. But it was still a funny quote.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Yo Momma

    Slow News day?

    June 10, 2011 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil, Ohio

      Yes, another idiot looking for attention!
      Doesn't the Apple stores have glass stairs?

      June 10, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      Apple stores have stairs?!
      All they need to do is send their almighty Steve a message in the iCloud and he will beam them up to the next floor.

      June 10, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Blessed Geek

    Sandblasting patterns into the treads – problem solved.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Darkaxel

    Paint the risers, problem solved.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Livelystone

    I agree with the above post and the female judge doing the complaining is a perfect example of why our judicial system is so messed up. She needs to either change her priorities or get off the bench !

    These stairways reveal nothing more than any open stairwell has revealed for hundreds of years

    June 10, 2011 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Wuteva

    What about people in wheelchairs? Babies? Robots? The truth is not nearly 50 percent of the population wears skirts or dresses, but you, Judge Lynch, are seemingly (by word choice and body language) holding the entire other 50 percent accountable. If we had mature people who wouldn't let every little thing turn them into a victim, we wouldn't have that building. If we had mature people running our judiciary system, they'd be wearing pants.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      Agreed. I am so tired of "victims". The only way anyone could see anything on those stairs is if the judge didn't wear underwear and took three steps at a time and had a light shining there. Give me a break. I suppose that now we have to design all of our buildings so nobody gets offended. Who wants to look up the dress of some nasty judge or lawyer anyway?

      June 10, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
    • anonymous


      June 10, 2011 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Wolfymode

    Men designed it? What a foolish conclusion. You think this problem has never come up before in the history or architecture? Men designed plenty of proper stairs before this day.

    And why can't they simply ROPE OFF the area directly under the stairs instead of posting a human to read a script? Such idiocy.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
    • dav

      LOL after reading this and other comments I have to admit I've changed my opinion (just a little.) I'll bet this is the highpoint in the courthouse security guys career. He gets to chat with all the women about their skirts, and he probably does it with a knowing twinkle in his eye. OMG how creepy is this? Maybe they need a robot to stand there and warn people, he could hand out public notices or directions or something too. Maybe if you put a dollar in he'll make an expresso, and they can pay for their new stairs, or a new judge, or w/e.

      June 10, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Donaldbain

    The stair treads look solid in the photos, so you can't see through those. Someone could see horizontally but not straight up. Much ado about nothing.

    June 10, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      Look at it again folks, the risers are glass

      June 10, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jason @

    I don't understand – it works fine at the bar in the Las Vegas' Cosmopolitan.

    June 10, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. anonymous

    This would be a problem if it weren't for the fact that you probably don't care to see up the dress of probably 85% of overweight and obese American women.

    June 10, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob Olson

    What the heck: Does the good Judge not put any panties on?
    I love it they have a guard at the steps to women with dresses on don't take the stairs. How about taking the guard and having him keep the people out from under the staircase? Oh and tell him "don't look up"

    June 10, 2011 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. michiganmoon

    Just think about the poor Scotsmen wearing Kilts that may use the stairs!

    June 10, 2011 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      I saw Free Willy once, I don't care to see it ever again, thank you.

      June 10, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Badonkadonk!

    P U S S Y!!!!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2011 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. solution

    Just paint the underside of the treads and forget it. Bloggers, get back to work!

    June 10, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Thenextstep

      Watch the video......... Its the 4"-5" risers that is the issue, not the treads...

      June 10, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • KatRose

      Love this comment!

      June 10, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
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