Call Boxes: End in Sight

By Linda Brooks and Ross Schipper

The restoration of Burleith's five fire call boxes is nearly complete. Clean & Polish Building Solutions, Inc. has removed the rust and layers of old paint and primed and painted the call boxes with the historically accurate dark gray and red colors that were revealed during an initial stripping activity. In addition, elegant gold highlighting has been added.

The call boxes each exhibit a plaque focusing on an aspect of Burleith's history. The plaque at 35th Street and Whitehaven Parkway introduces Burleith with a map showing the locations of the call boxes. The other four plaques contain information regarding the origins of the name Burleith, famous Burleith residents, the architectural evolution of the neighborhood, and patriotism and espionage.

The few remaining tasks on four of the five call boxes should be completed soon. However, one call box, affectionately known as "Shorty," will take a little longer to complete. Shorty sits on the northwest corner of 37th and T Streets. In addition to its historical plaque currently being fabricated, the missing door will be replaced with a bas-relief sculpture being created by Burleith artist Jeannette Murphy.

Special thanks go to the 97 friends and residents of Burleith, whose generous monetary donations are making the restoration of Burleith's call boxes a reality. A celebration honoring the donors took place on October 15. At the start of the party we were less than $500 short of our original goal of raising $13,500 for the call box restorations. At the party itself, a BCA member made a generous donation that put us over our goal!