Wooden phone booths tucked away in the city

Every once in a while you spot one, usually in the back of an outer borough drugstore or in an old-timey neighborhood pub.

Wherever you are, these relics from an older (and perhaps quieter) city instantly make you feel like you’ve traveled back to J.D. Salinger’s New York, or Mad Men–era Gotham.

A few recent finds include this booth downstairs at the Frick on Fifth Avenue and 70th Street. Too bad the phone itself is missing.

There’s also the wooden booths (separated by an open phone on the wall) near the entrance to the Park Avenue Armory at 66th Street.

These phones do work. And check out the seats! I don’t think they would support the butt size of today’s city residents.

Lost City kept a great running list of wooden phone booth sightings here. Ah, life before the endless chatter brought on by cell phones.

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9 Responses to “Wooden phone booths tucked away in the city”

  1. Alex Baugh Says:

    The New York Public Library at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue have a whole bunch of wooden phone booths on each floor by the elevators. They are all operational but people stop to look at they like they are an exhibit.

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    In the 70s I knew one transvestite prostitute who always sat in the phone booths downstairs at the Pix movie theater on 42nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues and gestured to potential customers to come over for fellatio. Many guys did, their bodies shielding them from peekers-in as they stood above her while she did her lovely mouth job from below What could be better? A guy leaning back on the door as the transvestite did him from below. And the world saw nothing.

  3. Joe R Says:

    Speaking of armories, I saw two wood phone booths, flanking the main hall, at the Lexington Avenue Armory at 26th Street. And check out the bar!

  4. babs Says:

    Just saw one on the Open House New York tour of the The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen at 20 West 44th Street. No phone but the booth was in good shape.

  5. Nabe News: October 28 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    [...] it or not, there are still some wooden phone booths left in the city [Ephemeral [...]

  6. fiona o'downey Says:

    these are great. beautiful. could have done without the transvistite visuals, though.

  7. Michael L. Says:

    Just beautiful. There used to be one in Fordham U’s Keating Hall, in the Bronx. Entering it was like entering the inner sanctum.

  8. Wooden phone booths hiding on 57th Street « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] A couple more charm relics from the pre-cell phone era can be found here. [...]

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