Strong connection: The greatest phone booths of the Bay Area

It started with a San Francisco Chronicle story by Kevin Fagan in April revealing there are only 200 working phones left in San Francisco. It continued with Tuesday’s moving tribute in the Chronicle to some of our favorite surviving Bay Area phone booths. And it ends (or is this just the beginning?) with this reader-submitted gallery of the greatest phone booths of the Bay Area.

We’re pre-empting our weekly Let’s Go to the Morgue! archive gallery to present this collection of phone booths.

We started with a call for photos of operational phone booths, then added non-working booths and ultimately the rules went out the window. You will see multiple photos from outside the Bay Area, accompanied by lame reasons for including them. (Thought process: “A phone at Morro Bay? That has the word ‘Bay’ in it! A phone near Pinecrest Lake? I went to Pinecrest once when I was a kid!”)

The important thing is you exceeded the highest expectations and sent in a wonderful variety of images.

A few more thoughts below the life-affirming phone booth garden from Alameda …


Photo: Courtesy Sue Greenspan

Photo: Courtesy Sue Greenspan
















* Thanks to everyone who sent in photos. Apologies if your photos didn’t get in. I received many more than expected, and had to trim the list. But I’ll be adding a few more throughout the day, so check back often.

* I was pleased to see so many buildings keep the booths looking nice, even though there hasn’t been an actual phone inside since maybe the 20th Century. If nothing else it makes a nice place for people to quietly make a cell phone call.

Thanks again for the photos. This was a lot of fun for me, and I know Kevin has been enjoying it as well. I was hoping for a dozen or so hastily taken iPhone photos of phone booths. I received more than 50, and the entries included some artfully executed photos, a couple of history lessons and a lot of humor.

PETER HARTLAUB is the pop culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle and founder/editor of The Big Event. He takes requests. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @peterhartlaub. Follow The Big Event on Facebook.

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