Previous generations had a different attitude towards natural light. Of course, some might say that it was because gas and kerosene lamps were expensive and unsafe. But I think I am beginning to understand why Tesla could not find any takers for his evilest invention (yes, eviler than the earth splitting device and the death ray) – the fluorescent lamp. Who would agree to work in an inhuman greenish glow instead of natural light?
Well designed early skyscrapers had plenty of large windows, even the factory floors were sun drenched. I’ve read in Henry Petroski’s “The Book on the Bookshelf” about library stacks that had glass floors, transparent enough to admit light to the lower floors, but opaque enough not to allow upskirt peeks.
Here’s a similar concept: store’s trapdoors that have little glass windowlets that admit light from above. I wonder what ripped so many of them out. I’ve seen other steel doors like that, and it seems to me that it’s pretty hard to mess them up. The thick glass is firmly embedded into steel and they are flush to the surface.