26 Feb 2021


Capitol Hill Call Boxes

You’ve seen them around the Hill: Sturdy metal poles with a box and about head height. They are a throwback to the pre-radio days, when summoning help was not just a matter of pushing a button on the phone you had in your pocket. John Kelly and Paul Williams have written about their history if you want to learn more.
But I wanted to look at some of them that have been upgraded by Art On Call around our neighborhood – like this one at Lincoln Park. It tells the story of the Carolina Theater, which stood where the dark brown brick building in the background now is.

Or this one done by the Hill’s own Will Fleishell, commemorating the Wallach School, which stood on the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue for many years.
Others have been as small protests: Here, this insert advocates for a new statue in Lincoln Park, one showing how Barack Obama stepped into the shoes of Abraham Lincoln.
Or this one, which tells the story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
And, finally, there’s this one, which tells its own sad story, stuck behind the fencing that surrounds the Capitol complex. If memory serves, it, too, references Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. But we will have to wait until the fence comes down to confirm that.

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