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. Bruce

    I can fix the problem with $50 in contact paper. Just stick contact paper to the bottoms of each stair step. Problem solved. Only in a courthouse can you have hundreds of people with graduate degrees, making six-figure salaries, who can't figure out how to turn transparent into opaque.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real world

      Unfortunately, NOT only on the internet can you have people who don't recognize stupidity and wasted money (the original design of the staircase).

      June 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      The TREADS are OPAQUE, the RISERS are clear glass. There are staircases all over the world with NO RISERS at ALL. This is the most absurd thing I have seen on CNN in a LONG LONG TIME!! If somebody wants to see coo ch they aren't gonna hangout under the court house stairs! Good GOD!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • EMDoc

      Or just put in frosted glass risers and attach a thin frosted glass sheets to the bottom. A fairly simple fix.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real world

      Nobody's going to hang out under the stairs probably. But it's a busy public building. That should have been taken into consideration, rather than having to repair it. The beautiful waterfront $170 million Moakley federal courthouse in Boston turned out to not be handicapped accessible. And they, of course, hand down the law. Oops. A bigger design flaw.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. K

    That judge sounds like a biaach.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    They should tear the stairs down and replace them at the expense of the designer/architect or whoever approved the design for the county. That's just stupid.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat in IL

      It would be the other way around.....the county would have approved the architect's plan. Otherwise, it wouldn't be built and they wouldn't pay for it. I can't believe this stupid mistake!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John H.

    Sounds like a typical feminist. I'm all for equal right, but if you choose to wear a dress then you choose all the downfalls that come with it. Stairs like this have been built for nearly as long as stairs have existed. The stairs at my work are just like this, but without the glass. They simply have empty space under each stair and we have not had one complaint in the 13 years I have worked there.

    Also why are we not targeting the apple stores and their all glass construction? They are FAR worse than this.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • barbara

      oh yea of course. its the womans fault for wearing a dress like many women still do. the professional kind at that, not the bar kind of mini skirt. its all their fault. how could we women not think of that ??

      June 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • ejs

      typical anti-feminist response. Sounds like a perfectly legitimate concern to me. you obviously have issues.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat in IL

      Silly remark. If a guy takes a picture under the stairs with a cell camera, it's the woman's fault for wearing a skirt instead of pants??? What planet are you on? Only in relatively recent history have women even beel allowed to wear pants. When I was in school, we had to wear skirts/dresses...even on very cold and snowy days. That dates me a bit, but I'm not all that old, either. Even in the 80's, it was kind of nervy to wear a pantsuit to work. Dresses and skirts are what women wear sometimes now, and it's not something they should be "punished" or inconvenienced for.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pasquale

    Just make sure you shave the beaver.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AustinGuy

    You read my mind Andrew, why don't they just cover the underneath part of the stairs?

    June 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. publius enigma

    I can just see someone that was convicted by her taking revenge by uploading a beaver shot to the internet.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pasquale

    Who wants to see that old judge's beaver anyway?

    June 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Politico

      I do, I do. Pls post here.

      June 13, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ururrrr

    I think they should have walk-in screening of women before they embark on this stairwell just to make sure they are wearing something under their dresses, and are decent. Maybe cavity searches, too.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Henry Miller

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

    Oh? It's a sign of maturity to spinelessly obey every idiot law the politicians dream up? If that's the case, all those folks back in 1776 must have been astonishingly immature.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pasquale

    That's what these judges get for using taxpayer money to build these elaborate facilities for lawyers, judges, cops, and other low life.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. greg

    One can of spray paint and I can solve the problem.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scotty

    What about us Scotish folks that wear Kilts? We don't want our junk on the internet

    June 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sNest

      My junk is already on the internet...that is why I wear a kilt.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. That's Just Silly

    There are thousands of open stairways like this. Sheesh. Who cares what or if you can see anything. It would be quite obvious if someone were standing under the stairs.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kibbity

    @ Bruce......I thought the same exact thing.....either contact paper or adhesive tint to make it opaque. So called "brilliant" people but really only book smart and common sense stupid.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real world

      For $105 million, I'm sure the people were expecting something better than contact paper or adhesive tint.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
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