Police Call Boxes as Art

Capitol Hill Police Call BoxI thought this police call box was a little more artistic than most. Its located on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania Ave. and 7th Street, SE.

The street side has a painting of Adolph Cluss, architect of Eastern Market. The other side has a sculptural representation of the Wallach School.

All in all, I thought it was executed well, and especially liked that the representations/imagery were relevant to the location of the box. I’ve noticed that the boxes in the Golden Triangle are nice, but relatively generic.

Capitol Hill Police Call Box

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3 Responses to “Police Call Boxes as Art”

  1. Jim Crotty Says:

    Hello, It’s wonderful that some of our cities are preserving these “gems” of history, however, for clarification sake, the 2 pictures shown here are NOT police call box pedestals. They are fire alarm “harps,” attached to supporting pedestals, in which “cottage style” red (in most cities) fire alarm boxes would be inserted and secured. They were originally painted red. Many New England cities still utilize them successfully.

    The turn of the century police call boxes (and later) were rectangular in shape, and consequently, so were the brackets that they were affixed to. The great majority were made by a company known as “Gamewell.” The 2 pictures displayed here are of Gamewell pedestals and harps. Thank you for preserving this history and sharing it. Sincerely, Jim Crotty

  2. Thanks Jim! This is much clearer now, and I appreciate you giving such a detailed description.

  3. Thanks for the good words- it is not easy to do the artwork and to install one of these pieces and I always appreciate the complelents or suggestions . Also- my family has been in this neighborhood for a super long time and so I have a very strong bond / association to the sites – I have a copy of my great aunt’s report card from this very school dating back to 1905-10 or thereabouts. Both of my grandparents from DC went to schoool here- as did a set of their parents. We have a number of call boxes planned for the Capitol Hill area and Navy Yard as time permits they will eventually happen.
    Best Regards- Will Fleishell

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