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. Howie

    Lighten up ladies! Unless you don't wear panties I just don't see the problem. If you don't wear panties, you probably don't mind being seen.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kat

    we had stairs like that at my job. My colleague tripped on them and was bleeding everywhere.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Belj

      That was my first thought, their potentially very dangerous never mind embarassing and I can't understand why they are ever designed for a workplace. I hate glass staircases, have only encountered two. In terms of protecting modesty, it's not just glass staircases that pose a problem but any staircase which has open steps, if anyone is standing underneath the gap between stairs. But yes, glass potentially very dangerous and just not a substance ever intended for stairs, I would have thought.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. begoosed

    If a perve camps out under the stairs in Ohio to catch a peek they will be waiting a looooooong time for a hottie to make the climb or descent.

    June 17, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cleo

    What a silly, juvenile response. Only a person who is struggling with h/her own sense of inadequacy would feel the need to make such a demeaning comment. Or, someone who is very low on the ladder of success.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ^Neanderthal

    Cleo, don't feed the trolls...:)

    June 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      I've found that those who call others trolls are usually the real trolls themselves.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. TS

    "Of course a man designed it; it's a staircase, not a delicious Thanksgiving dinner."

    June 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • EvilNucca


      June 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Frosted

    Hey... here's an idea, maybe frost the glass staircase... ?? You will still have the same glass stairs with a nice look to them, but now no one can see up your dresses/skirts. No more worries, except that glass in itself was not meant to be made for stairs, so there are other hazards to watch out for, other than someone looking up your skirt...

    June 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Megan

      Good idea!

      June 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anonymous

    Well, if you wear underwear, you don't have anything to worry about.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Do you also feel that way about the x-ray scanners at the airport, or do you think that the use of those machines is an invasion of your privacy?

      June 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. turbo23

    I think a smoked film like automotive window tint applied from below would fix this up nicely.

    June 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • deandake

      That would create a mirror effect. Then people standing above the staircase would get the same show as those standing below used to get before applying the film 🙂

      June 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Umm, applied *the other way* – the mirrored side towrds the bottom...

      June 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nicholas

    I'm not sure I see Judge Lynch's (Awesome name for a judge, by the way) over-simplified correlation between immaturity and breaking the law. "If we had mature people that didn't violate the law, we wouldn't have this building."

    So everyone who violates the law is immature? Is she meaning to imply that the root of crime is immaturity? And court houses are only necessary because of people who violate the law? Seems like a pretty under-thought perspective.

    June 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • lills

      So what, you want her to break into a twenty minute rant so she could be politically correct? Its an on the spot interview, she was generalizing.

      June 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chickeee in Canada

    often stairs like this have plants or something underneath them so losers won't stand there and stare straight up

    June 19, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Good idea. Someone should drop that in the suggestion box.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Da Troll

    It could be heaven or hell!!

    June 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CAT

    Just tint the glass for a cheap fix

    June 20, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • gremlin

      Yep. Spray tint would solve the problem and still look nice. Or just paint a mural on the underside. That would look cool.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wanda

    this uproar is ridiculous! many stair cases have open risers. Glass risers are no different than having no risers at all.
    Women who object should grow up!

    June 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Painter 11

      @Wanda, and others with the same lack of logic: Glass stairs/clear steps give a full 90 degree view – straight up between the legs. Open risers (that is, the back only of the step is open to view through, not the step itself) on tha other hand, give a view, considering the legal requirement of overlap for safety and stair depth and height, of approximately a 35degree angle. Unless you are wearing a skirt so short that your panties are going to be seen in public the second your attempt to bend or sit, no one can possibly see up your skirt. There is a HUGE difference here. And suppose, and I know some idiots will mock this, the young lady is clostrophobic and cannot take the elevator? A simple tinting solution – within the glass, not applied, might work, if the materials used and/or lighting doesn't allow for reflection.... but then again, that can come from ANY highly polished floor. Again, in such a case, however, if the skirt is long enough to hide the under from normal view, it will hide the reflective view from anyone not trying to get a look. This was a very poorly thought out design. The fact that some think that a woman "should get over it" with regard to showing her underwear to strangers, workmates and criminals in the courthouse explains perfectly how such a design flaw was passed!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Painter 11

      @Wanda – I take it back – the picture (that did NOT load when I read the article) does show that it is NOT a glass STAIRCASE but simply glass risers!!! The reporter, in this case, needs to correct his/her vocabulary before writing the story. These do appear to be SOLID STEPS, only glass risers, which, as I stated before, make all but the shortest mini-skirt-hidden underwear unseeable to almost anyone except those trying ver;y hard to get a peak. The angle of the photography is also misleading!!! So, yes, if you wear your skirt short enough for your underwear, etc., to be seen here, why are you worried? You're going to be seen anyway!! Sorry, Wanda!!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eric

    If I were a woman, I'd take a pair of white cotton undies and draw on them with a brown magic marker and see how many guys I could gross out.

    June 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      How fun! I'll make note of that! A great way to give the finger......

      June 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Who needs a marker.....KIDDING...geesh !

      June 23, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
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