Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Repurposed urban structures: phone booths and newsstands
Phone booths and newsstands are being given new life as their old uses disappear.
In New York City, phone booths are being converted into free Wi-Fi kiosks.
In January, the city began its plan to replace about 7,500 payphones with Wi-Fi hotspots.
“The hot spots will sit atop a 9.5-foot tall box with electronic screens on each side to display advertising,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “Sandwiched between the sidewalk ads will be an Android tablet that can be used to place free phone calls and surf the Web.”
Payphones in the age of low-cost mobile phones have become something of a joke.
CollegeHumor posted a photo of some payphones with the title “Endangered Species Huddling Together for Survival.”
The New York Times not so long ago had to explain what a phone booth is for one of its articles.
Phone booths are such curiosities that the Times recently ran an article about one neighborhood saving its phone booths.
Newsstands also face extinction as more readers skip newspapers and magazines to read online.
In Chicago, old newsstands have been turned into healthy food kiosks. (See article by the Chicago Tribune.)
Photo: A free Wi-Fi phone booth in New York City. (Photo by Flickr user Mike.)