When it comes to tourist attractions, weird sells. People have a hard time resisting anything that plays with the boundaries of normal, and an ‘all-glass’ bathroom in the middle of downtown Sulphur Springs certainly blows past the boundaries of normal.
With see through glass on three sides, the pair of panic inducing potties are the first of their kind anywhere in the United States. The restrooms were modeled after Italian artist, Monica Bonivicini's art piece - 'Don't Miss A Sec' from 2004, which was located outside an art museum in Switzerland. For the small Texas town, the unique toilets are balance the need for both form and function. With a recent re-design of the courthouse area, there was a dilemma on where to put the restrooms. To avoid the typical eyesore that can be a public restroom, the city opted to create mirrored rooms that would reflect the beauty of the courthouse and surrounding area. While they were at it, they decided to make the mirrors out of one way glass.
In order for the illusion to work properly, a balance of more light outside the structure than inside was carefully achieved. These bathrooms have no interior inside and LED lights on the outside keep privacy in check at night. Security cameras are also in place to make sure there isn’t any funny business in the form of a giant spotlight.
Life seems to carry on around the Northeast Texas square, as kids play in the star shaped fountain or play a game of giant chess. People mill around checking out quaint shops and restaurants, and many don’t even seem to realize the mirrored squares actually house a usable bathroom. In fact, most folks wandering by the artistic building seem puzzled and inquisitive. Some even do a quick check of their hair and straighten their clothes while they are trying to get a better idea of why there are mirrored boxes in the middle of town.
While the curious passers peer in and wonder what’s in the box, it’s the guy on the inside that’s really getting the show. Not only do you have the best seat in the square, but you can do your business with the added entertainment of people popping up to take a peek. Whether that makes you laugh or cry depends on how much you trust the one way glass technology.