by Kevin Walsh

Over on my Facebook page (you should try it — if you’re a Facebook subscriber, “friend me” — it’s 100% fun with no nastiness, politics and personal attacks) I occasionally run a feature called “your daily phone” in which I post various payphone wreckages, the nastier-looking and more garbage-filled the better. It’s an ironic comment (I said no nastiness, but there is irony) on the proliferation of cellphones that have made public, coin-swallowing public payphones redundant.

As a rule the remaining phone stanchions in NYC look alike, with the same design. Four booths are still there on West End Avenue in Manhattan, but they’re actually new “retro booths” designed to look like the former phone booths that used to be found all over town.

And then there was this design, which I believe was at Columbia Heights and Clark Street, where there’s a connection to the riverside Promenade that the city keeps threatening to replace, at least temporarily, with an expressway. It resembled a phone pod, or something that wouldn’t look out of place at the 1964-65 World’s Fair. I only saw one other public phone like it, on West 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. In any case, both have gone to pay phone heaven.

If you know of any other unusual public phone designs, Comments are open.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



chris brady February 19, 2021 - 5:30 pm

I remember in the 60s when all the phone booths in Chinatown were all topped with Pagoda roofs.

JaxD February 20, 2021 - 10:40 am

W 46th between 5th & 6th Ave. was a “Little Brazil” when I used to frequent it in the 1990s. Those were original phone pods imported from Brazil to give the street a more Brazilian feel.

Jeff B. February 22, 2021 - 11:46 pm

I remember this type of phone booth in Bergen County NJ in the early 70’s. There was one on the street in front of my high school for a few years back then.

Andy February 28, 2021 - 9:13 pm

When was this picture taken? When do you suspect the pod was removed?

Kevin Walsh February 28, 2021 - 10:47 pm

That was a few years ago. Been gone for a few years.


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