Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Restoration of Georgetown’s Call Boxes
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
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); Poulton Hall (a few steps from this marker); John Carroll (within shouting distance of this marker); S/Sgt. Richard F. Hoffman, A.A.F. (within shouting distance of this marker); Healy Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); La Casa Latina (about 300 feet away); The Black House (about 300 feet away); John Fitzgerald Kennedy (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Additional keywords. law enforcement.
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Communications • Man-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 1,273 times since then and 27 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.