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. NYStan

    I don't understand why this in an issue. It is the riser (the vertical part of the step) that is clear. The flat part of the stair is opaque. In order to see up a skirt, you would have to be at a crazy angle underneath the stairs or the skirt would have to be very short.

    What am I missing?

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



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

      The judge is trying to delude herself into believing anyone would want to see up her dress..

      June 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terrie

      Bless your heart, NYStan, Did you not see the photo of the stairs in this story? I can see the lower leg of the man in the photo, so for women, this is a huge concern.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      I agree!

      At first I thought they meant the stairsteps themselves were glass, which *would* allow a see-through view, but the video makes it clear that they aren't. It's just the risers (the vertical part of stairs) that are glass.

      Frankly, I've been up and down plenty of staircases in my life that, while not glass, did not have risers...and so have the rest of you. (If you can't think of any, think "fire escape" 🙂

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

    I have heard of the stairway to I know where it is.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      Singing: "...everytime it rains it rains..."

      June 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sanjosemike

    I have a question: "Do patent leather shoes really reflect UP?"

    June 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Doug

    Easy fix: a few rolls of duct tape.

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

    portable sandblaster...two hours of work...maybe three...what's the issue? easy fix...$500.00 bucks. One speeding ticket.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      I think they could add that applique that looks like stained glass to the bottom of the treads. That would help.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ajohn141


      June 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • zapper45701

      I was thinking a couple of cans of spray paint would do the trick, too; but then again, that would require the "T" word again–think.

      When the Australians built the Sydney opera house (you know, the one with all the clamshell half domes), the designers forgot to include bathrooms. They had to retrofit the whole thing. Oh well.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rrrrrrrandy

    It sure beats putting a piece of mirror under your shoelaces. baddaboom!

    June 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sanjosemike

    This is my first opportunity to "Oogle a Google" story.


    June 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rrrrrrrandy

    Pie in the sky. baddaboom!

    June 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CORI

    How about putting in a carpet runner?

    June 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jodiq

    All they need to do is frost the glass. It's a permanent solution and allows for the same amount of light. Easy to do, too.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJinCVistaCA

      @ Jodiq, my thought exactly. Perhaps that's too brilliant an idea for them to think up and accomplish in a day...or two?

      June 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Clem&Jethro

    I dunno Clem. They look like what fish smell like. "Yep reckon they do at that. Wiggle more too.".

    June 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Clem&Jethro

    Hay Clem! Looky up there at all them blondes walkin' around on their hands! "Them ain't not blondes Jethro! They be brunettes needing some breathmints."

    June 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. legalize


    June 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Politico

      Seems the old courthouse is not so bad now, eh? Why is no one complaining about the glass-sided elevator?

      June 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Woman solution

    3m (and others) make vinyl film to make office glass walls frosted (looks as if it were sandblasted)

    simply have it applied to the risers

    much cheaper than sandblasting, quiet to install , and no messy sand to clean up

    June 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SL

    Does anyone else realize that Apple stores also have clear staircases? Why hasn't this issue been addressed in these stores where female consumers are more likely to be "put on display" for social deviants in a much more accessible public space?

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