DC used to have a full network of call boxes that could be used in case of emergency to call the police, fire or EMS crews to the scene. Over the years, these fell into disuse as household phones and cell phones took hold of common culture.
In the District, many art projects have taken over these abandoned structures. Some are sanctioned (projects in Dupont Circle/Kalorama and Adams Morgan spring to mind), while others are one-off, homemade works of art.
And that’s what this call box in Georgetown is (or was): a lovely, multi-colored tribute to George Harrison. One of my first happy images of Georgetown from 2003, when I first moved to DC, was this colorful call box, with its airbrushed stars and the colorful treatment of the supporting pole.
Alas, sometime in the first week of June 2008, the owners of the neighboring house had the call box painted a uniform, battleship-tone grey (the same non-creative color used on the house). It’s a rather dreary end to a little thing that made my day every time I passed its way.