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. Cat Kenny

    Have these people never heard of translucent film? You can purchase it at any good hardware store – it's often used on bathroom windows to block the view but not the light.
    Might I suggest that the members of the crack team of architects that came up with the peek-a-boo staircase come back and apply some film?
    Men.....(throwing up my tiny, girly hands in disgust)

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

      Or, paint the blooming stairs.
      But I forget the City Council will have to meet and form a committee that studies the problem for 6 months before they could do something that bold.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |

    @D32 – I must struck a nerve. Pity, does it make you feel more secure about how you dress without anyone looking at you? Do you like to be compliment about your looks to work? Don't get me wrong, decency is becoming a dead issue unless you women decide to bicker and complain about violation and perverts.

    To this article it shows two contradictions; 1) This is a court, no one has time to look up and get a quick peak at your knockers. If the women has SO much of problem with it, can take the elevator instead of the stairs. 2) It proves that women who work there do wear dresses as a profession; however, should their looks get in the way of proving justice for the court system?

    How many times fashion got in the way with judical duties? If none then they should ignore it, besides why not the security confiscate the phones on the bottom floor?

    June 10, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. bee

    ...well there goes wearing my kilt to court...

    June 10, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    Ladies remember; Semper, ubi sub ubi

    June 10, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dead Man Blogging

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

    Oh, yes they did. I'm guessing this was all part of the plan. Politicians may be stupid, but architects generally are not.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jill

    There are plenty of staircases all over the country that either have clear or absent risers. They act like the actual steps themselves are see through.

    IMO, any woman walking up steps in a dress/skirt needs to make sure that her goods are covered regardless of whether the risers are see through. Anyone walking a certain distance behind you on the steps can get a look up your skirt if you're wearing a skirt at or slightly above the knee.

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

      The steps themselves are see-through. Look at the top photo. You can clearly see through the steps at the top, which means they are easiest to see through from a vantage point directly below, i.e. when the skirt/dress leaves a woman the most exposed. It's only when viewed from the side that they look opaque because of the depth you are looking through.

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

      The steps are not see-through. Someone who has seen them in person has already reported that only the risers are see-through.

      June 10, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      @Brian–nope the actual steps are opaque. I've seen them with my own eyes. It would definitely be an issue if they were clear, but they aren't.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Thank you Sara. You are the person to whom I was referring. 🙂

      June 10, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ashley

    Go back and frost the glass, problem solved.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Citytreker

    Really, a man designed it? This judge is ignorant. That is her answer. Did anyone test this out and try to take a picture from under the stairs? They did a brief video, but i think if they use their cell phone camera to try to take a picture not one single picture will come out at all. Using a cell phone a a moving object 12 feet away will reveal nothing, and be so obvious that not a single person would want to be caught doing that.

    I hope a man tells her that she has no idea what she is talking about. When she walks up the courthouse stairs outside someone can put a cell phone under her skirt and take a picture.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. hingedlwnb

    I think the whole problem is that Judge Julie left her briefs at home.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • lawyerpaul

      hingedlwnb for the win! 🙂

      June 10, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin Groce

    Undercoat them with some spray on epoxy and call it a day... Epic design fail? Yes! News worthy story? No!

    June 10, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. mell

    wasted tax payer dollars on a glass staircase that can't be used by half of the population they got the tax dollars from.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Only the risers are glass so they can be used by anybody. This story is all about a judge who wants her 15 minutes.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Citytreker

    They will not paint the risers or put window tint on them, if they are good architects. Hopefully they are not forced to do anything, but if they do, then they will have frosted glass panels made, and then when ready remove and replace the existing clear glass risers.

    I hope it stays clear glass.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Agreed. They're lovely (and skirt safe).

      June 10, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. hingedlwnb

    The best way to make everyone forget about the glass risers is to install air jets on the steps.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scrubb

    It was someones preference to use glass stairs in the building design, just like its the judge's preference to wear dresses and skirts. Welcome to a society of people with different ideas!

    The stair case looks very nice, well unless your overweight, or have bad joints or hips or other disability, or of course your afraid of heights, or your have a fear of stairs, or your in a wheelchair.....but wait, lets get back to the people who have a real legitamate issue, women who wear skirts and dresses as a preference to make themselves more appealing are worried that men might be looking at them. If your not worried about a gust of wind blowing up your dress, then don't worry about a staircase blowing up your dress.

    Female bodies look nice too (my preference ;0)

    June 10, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. chrisbcn

    This is easy to fix. Just put horizontal slats under each step like venetian blinds. You would still keep the glass effect as you're walking up the stairs and from a distance, but it would limit the viewing angle to mostly horizontal. If you got up under the steps and looked up, they would block the view.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      The steps themselves are not glass, only the risers. Tell him (or her), Sara.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
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