For that authentic, prison-style feel


There’s a doorway in my building that has gone through an almost comical series of changes over the past year or so. Originally, the door was locked and required a key card to open it. Then, the building removed the lock, insisting that convenience trumped security. And then, after people apparently began opening the door too enthusiastically and hitting passers-by, a large window was installed in the top half of the door.

From the moment I noticed the new see-through design, something seemed off. After a few more trips past that area, I realized what bothered me about it. The window was covered in a matrix of steel wires — just like the kind you’d expect to find in a prison. In an ironic twist, the door remains unlocked at all times, so the building now sports a prison-grade, see-through door which anyone can open and close as they please.

I’m probably blowing this way out of proportion. After all, the door in question is located inside an area that you can’t get to without using a key card or checking in at the security desk. However, the fact remains that most people are going to associate a metal grate on top of a window with jails and prisons. And that’s hardly the type of message that you want to send to people in a building that’s supposed to feel like home for its residents.