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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Restoration of Georgetown’s Call Boxes

 
 
Restoration of Georgetown’s Call Boxes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, August 23, 2009
1. Restoration of Georgetown’s Call Boxes Marker
Inscription.
Georgetown’s Call Box restoration project is part of a city-wide effort to rescue the District’s abandoned fire and police call boxes. Known as Art on Call, the project has identified more that 800 boxes for restoration. Neighborhood by neighborhood, they are being put to new use as permanent displays of local art, history and culture. The Georgetown project highlights the anecdotal history of Georgetown and its unique heritage as a thriving colonial port town that predated the District of Columbia.

Police alarm boxes such as this one (originally painted blue) were established for police use starting in the 1880s. An officer on foot - as most were in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - used the box to check in regularly with his precinct or to call for backup if needed. The police boxes were locked, opened by a big brass key that officers carried. Inside was a telephone that automatically dialed the precinct’s number. Checking in regularly was a way to make sure the patrolman was doing his job, and also a way to make sure he was safe. Use of the call box system began to decline in the 1960s with the advent of two-way car radios and walkie talkies. The phones were finally disconnected in the 1970s and replaced with today’s 911 emergency system.

Art on Call is a program of Cultural Tourism DC with support
Restoration of Georgetown’s Call Boxes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, August 23, 2009
2. Restoration of Georgetown’s Call Boxes Marker
- on the opposite face of the restored call box stand (dark green with gold-painted cap) in left foreground, across 37th Street from the entrance to Georgetown University - Healy Hall NHL visible in background.
from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Creates Public Art Program, District Department of Transportation, and Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

Citizens Association of Georgetown, Georgetown University
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
 
Location. 38° 54.455′ N, 77° 4.292′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 37th Street, NW and O Street , NW, on the right when traveling north on 37th Street, NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. America's Oldest Catholic University (here, next to this marker); John Carroll (within shouting distance of this marker); Healy Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Fitzgerald Kennedy (about 400 feet away); Holy Trinity Parish (about 400 feet away); Jan Karski (n. Jan Kozielewski) (1914-2000) (about 400 feet away); Holy Trinity Church (about 600 feet away); Hollywood on the Potomac (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
 
Additional keywords. law enforcement.
"Art on Call" - Restored Police Call Box in Georgetown image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, August 23, 2009
3. "Art on Call" - Restored Police Call Box in Georgetown

 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCommunicationsMan-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 5, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,222 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on December 9, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 5, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3. submitted on December 9, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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