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. Maverick

    Looking up a woman's dress is so 3rd grade it's an insult to insinuate enough men would do it. Unless you are under the very first few steps you are not going to get a glance of any "goodies". It's like whining about the body scanners at can't see anything.

    Women, get over yourselves. Men, behave. And Mary Murphy, go home!

    June 10, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Miss Etta

      What planet are you on? Those stairs were designed specifically to humiliate and degrade girls, especially pretty ones.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Miss Etta, pretty girls? In Ohio? Shirley you jest.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • kauppily

      Get over yourselves? Excuse me, but government buildings should not be designed to humiliate people. If it were something that somehow degraded men it would have been fixed already.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. krow101

    As part of the vast male conspiracy I want you women to know that I told them not to do it. Yeah, we all get together ... you're right. Like the Jews and the Catholics ... it's all a plot. Couldn't just be something stupid ...

    June 10, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Yes, the New World Order "Global Domination For Dummies" book says that one of the first tasks is to get everyone riled up about glass staircases in piblic buildings.... Oops. Have i said too much?

      June 10, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. hingedlwnb

    If one day soon a recliner doesn't somehow show up under the stairs I'm going to be really dissappointed in humanity

    June 10, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ian

    This has already been mentioned, but yeah there are stairs EVERYWHERE where there are clear or no risers between steps. It doesn't appear that the gaps between the steps are very large, so it's not like anyone could see much anyway without being obvious (and there's a security guard right there to catch the obvious).

    June 10, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Justin

    Has anyone else noticed that CNN's stories just seek to be getting dumber and dumber lately?

    June 10, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kelly

    What is so wrong about this staircase? I have seen many staircases, with NOTHING under the steps, nothing clear, or nothing solid.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Reynaldo

    Really confused about this. I know of, and use a ton of stair cases where there are no risers at all. Based on the video, you can't really see anything unless the person was wearing a very short skirt and you were looking at the quite optimal angle. How does something like this even become an issue past a single paranoid freak, not to mention actually ending up as a story on CNN.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Peeping Tom


    June 10, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. AthensGuy

    We shoul all be for transparency in the judicial system! 😉

    June 10, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sara

    I happen to know someone who works at the courthouse. Unless you run directly under the stairwell (which is a non-traffic area) and put your face up to the glass you can't see anything. I'm a woman, I wear skirts, I would use these stairs. You can't see anything unless you're very obviously trying. Couple that with the fact that there's a security guard standing close by... Some people just look for things to complain about. And, by the way, every element of the design of a building is green-lighted by the client. Designers aren't given free reign by a long shot. If they were our buildings would look a lot cooler than they do. Non story.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • GaryO

      A non-story. Yes. However, you and I (as well as thousands of others) have still read the article and by clicking the link to read the article, have done what wants us to do; generate revenue for them with their advertisers who rely on our clicking into ridiculous articles to give us exposure to their ads. Good job CNN! Tricked us into making money for you, again.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. iknowthis

    I agree with some of the other commenters. This is a very common staircase design. Use see these in more modern hotels. I'm a bit annoyed about how much a judge assumed that men were masterminding some way to look up womens dresses in this particular courthouse. Frosted or tinted plexi-glass is the key. This article isn't even news worthy. Just fix it and move on. I like that one guard let a woman walk halfway up before yelling MAM you may not want to take the stairs. Classic. Seriously post a sign and save the awkwardness.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    Not the only "design flaw" for that multi-million dollar project. the builders put in glass walls that block cell signals. Talk about idiots!

    June 10, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dr.R

    Here might be a relatively inexpensive solution: etch/sandblast the glass to make it opaque

    June 10, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joe in Colorado

    When we designed these stairs, we did in fact take into account the "other half" of the population. Oh, we took them into account.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. heycarrieann

    A 100 million dollar peep show. You just have to shake you head an laugh.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
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