Posts Tagged ‘Wooden phone booths’

The wooden phone booths in a Chelsea bar

September 17, 2012

Old, dark neighborhood bars and pubs often harbor a back-room secret: vintage wooden phone booths, the kind that used to exist all over New York.

Now, of course, they’re an endangered species.

That’s mostly thanks to cell phones, but also the fact that few people seem to think it’s necessary to duck away somewhere to have a private conversation.

These two twin old-school booths (with working phones!) are at the end of the carved Mahogany bar at Peter McManus Cafe at Seventh Avenue and 19th Street, still packing in drinkers after 76 years.

More vintage phone booth sightings can be found here.

Old-school phone booths hiding around the city

March 22, 2012

What a pair of beauties: Two wooden phone booths with hinged doors that close all the way and stools to relax on while you make your call.

In the left booth, a light even goes on when you shut the door.

They’re at Montero’s, the divey but warm Brooklyn bar at the river end of Atlantic Avenue.

The bartender said they were there when the place opened in this spot in 1947.

This row of phone booths, in the basement of the Whitney Museum, isn’t made of wood.

But they are actual booths, which is pretty rare these days, and worth noting.

I have no idea when they date to, but it’s from a time when museum directors had no idea the cell phone era was on its way.

Check out more examples of the phone booths still holding on around the city.

The wooden phone booths hiding on 42nd Street

November 13, 2011

The main building of the New York Public Library houses a collection of incredible city treasures—but not all of them are in the reading rooms and galleries.

An Ephemeral reader alerted me to a row of nicely preserved wooden phone booths in the basement.

The phones themselves are touch-tone payphones, unfortunately.

But the booths they’re inside are pure pre-cell phone vintage, with wooden stools, folding doors, automatic fans and lights, even graffiti in the form of phone numbers scribbled on the walls.

There are two booths on the main floor as well, but they lack the folding doors the basement ones feature.

Check out some other old-timey wooden phone booths found in the city.

Wooden phone booths tucked away in the city

October 28, 2010

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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