Ohio courthouse builds unfortunate staircase:
The central stairs of the new Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse seem almost to float up from the ground floor, suspended in a foyer of light and glass.
However, the aesthetic appeal of the stairway has an unfortunate side-effect in a building where judges sentence sex offenders: People can see up a woman's skirt from the busy walkway under the stairs.
"If you wear dresses, you're on notice that you might want to take the elevator, as I will be doing," said Judge Julie M. Lynch, who wears dresses exclusively to work.
Although it's probably best not to advertise the issue for fear of abuse, people partial to skirts, dresses and kilts have a right to know about the risk, Lynch said...
When glass stairs and walkways first came out, Zorn said, he remembers looking up at an elevated walkway at an airport and wondering how the designers had missed the fact that skirts were going to be a problem.
Most engineers know enough to use some well-placed opaque glass and careful design to avoid the problem, he said.
Building a staircase in Ohio without accounting for sex offenders is kind of like designing an office in Phoenix without installing air conditioning.