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. Philip

    @Woman solution...exactly. Window film comes in a huge variety of shades, patterns, designs, etc., including white frost that you mentioned Many government and office buildings have been treated with window film since the early 1960s. Odd that this simple and cost effective way of solving this problem has been ignored. Maybe if the multi-billion dollar window film industry advertised on tV?

    June 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobincal

    Oh please. Maybe there are a few pre-pubescent boys who get off on looking at womens legs under there dresses. But what is there really to see...underpants?

    June 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imjessayin52

      Underpants....some women don't wear underpants. I'm sure there are those who would love to provide a free peep show.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    Excuse me? A 105 million dollar COURTHOUSE??? WHAT a gigantic waste of our taxpayer money. Judges and courtrooms don't need to be things of luxery. The government can lease a friggen empty lot in a strip mall for all we care. STOP WASTING OR DAMN MONEY!!! That money could have gone to something else. This is outrageous!!

    June 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      It's really not that outrageous. I'm sure the courthouse isn't even that big for that amount of money. You'd be (and obviously are) surprised at how much money new construction costs, especially on the commercial scale.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Me is correct.. that is about normal for a decent size courthouse.. sounds like a lot until you really look at the cost of materials and construction. Plus with a courthouse, you have a lot of intricate details you don't have to think about in a normal building.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • PeterJ

      Could not agree more Joe. Why can't they dispense justice in a basic, cost-effective building? Leasing a vacated strip mall is a great idea. You could probably rent it for 250 years or more with $105 million. And to make a whole heap of fuss about gaps between steps? You wanted your big fancy, high tech vanity building, and now you're complaining? That's offensive to me.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jojo

    I disagree, I think men did take women into account when designing this! and more power to them!!! walk slow ladies and feel free to go commando

    June 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      True! I'm gonna get a hat with a vertical camera on top of it, and stand under the staircase.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Be ready when I show up in my kilt in true Scottish tradition. I imagine you'll come away with something like a National Geographic special featuring male orangutans up in the trees...

      June 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ELH

    I have long been convinced that most architects were in the john when The Master passed out the brains.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Architect

      And you sir are an fing moron.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wear some pants

    Heres a choice take elevator.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      What if there's no power to use the elevator???

      June 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • wear some pants

      you wear pants

      June 9, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      I don't think I will carry pants with me.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • wear some pants

      well then wear shorts under skirt like tennis player

      June 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      it wouldn't be comfortable

      June 9, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mick

    Who's going to look? Who's going to care? Okay, so if you see a dirty old man or group of snickering 12 year olds hanging around, you tell them to move on. Otherwise, do you think any guys are going to get their jollies gawking up through a staircase when there's nothing going on up there that they haven't seen?

    June 9, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      this is a courthouse.. I don't want to even envision the crazies that would be standing under that staircase!!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim34

    Wear pants.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    Enough already. Every time something like this comes up there is always a group of women complaining about it. The interesting thing is the ones complaining are never the ones you would actually WANT to see or even pay attention to. A Judges Granny panties, now there's a Kodak moment...not....

    June 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • M_Edwards

      Jim, let's put you in a skirt, stick you in an area where criminal suspects are tried and have you walk up and down the stairs every day. Seriously, if you want to say that some women are complaining over nothing, try walking a mile in their shoes before you go off on some misogynistic rant.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    Paint the riser black thus the problem is solved.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. J

    As a guy, I am ok with this.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Fly Guy in SJ


    I fairly regularly read about men being arrested while attempting to take up-skirt photos of women in public places, so yeah, I do think there are some guys who will get their jollies that way. It would take some chutzpah to do it in a courthouse, I'll grant you, but a month or so ago I read about a guy who was arrested taking up-skirt photos with a camera concealed in the toe of his shoe. The evidence shows that there are clearly perves out there with enough chutzpah to stand under a glass staircase in a courthouse.

    Time to opaque the bottoms of the steps.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jenny

    I think guys should wear skirts and go up the stairs.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @jenny: *WE'D* get arrested.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      well then whoever looks up the stairs when women are going up should get arrested too.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. leeintulsa

    Don't women watch where they're going?

    June 9, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PeterJ

    I honestly can't understand what the big deal is. I have seen many buildings with these kinds of stairs, with no risers and gaps between the steps. Seems to me that Judge Lynch is making a big deal out of very little, and in any case, was she not privy to design details of the building? Clearly this is something she missed too, but is quite happy to blame the other half of the population after the fact. If I were a taxpayer in Franklin county, I would be more concerned about the exhorbitant cost of the building, $105 million!, than people standing around under the stairs craning their necks awkwardly to look upwards. Sounds like a lot of misplaced pro-feminism whining to me. Wouldn't it be absolutely divine if it was discovered that a woman designed these stairs?

    June 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
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