A Reclaimed Phone Booth

NY’s Old Penn Station Phone Booths

On Thursday Tim and I drove to a Vintage Furniture shop outside Baltimore to pickup an old phone booth we bought on Ebay for the office. We got really lucky because the booth was in mint condition, and according to the proprietor it was part of Baltimore’s Penn Station for decades. We were thrilled to have it, and it is absolutely gorgeous, as you can see below:

Vintage Phone Booth

Vintage Phone Booth

The plan is to hook up some power and USB chargers and do a little insulation so folks can use it for private calls in the co-working space. And even if that doesn’t happen, it is an amazing centerpiece for the office. After tweeting out images yesterday, Bryan Mathers came back with a next level booth concept:

To which Grant Potter noted was an image of Jack White‘s Voice-O-Graph which is where Neil Young recorded all of his 2014 album A Letter Home:

The tweet from Grant reminded me of his experimentation with an 800 number for ds106radio back in 2011, and I would love the idea of revisiting some of that insanity in an OG phone booth. All of which provided a brief reminder of what Twitter was like before it became a political garbage dump. We’re on the look out for a second booth of the same kind, but not so sure we can get anything nearly as nice. Having two of these side-by-side (like in the image of the top of this post) would be so awesome. The Reclaim offices are going to be amazing.

Reclaiming the Back Office

I am wrapping up my trip to the States tomorrow, it has been most productive. I’ve basically done two things: worked and watched movies. I’ll have another post about the movies, but this one is about some of the work. Tim and I had plans to renovate one of the spaces in our new office, and we took care of that in no time. All while migrating servers, starting a new semester, and building momentum for our Domains 17 conference. It’s been busy, but I think doing some physical work broke things up a bit which was nice.

Back Office before it was Reclaimed

^Office space before renovation

As you can tell from the image above, the space we were working on was pretty hideous. I think anything we did to it would have been an improvement. We replaced the carpet, ceiling tiles, florescent lights, and painted the paneling. Fairly simple.

Foundry back office ceiling tile

Installing ceiling tiles and LED recessed lighting

Foundry back office priming

^First coat of primer

Foundry back office under construction

^Second coat of primer

Lauren picked the paint color for the wall (Behr’s Script White). Tim picked the light gray carpet tiles and clean, elegant ceiling tiles. At the end of a week, we had a pretty awesome looking back office for folks to use at the Foundry. I think it came out pretty well.

Foundry Back Office

^View from the Conference Room

Alternative view of Foundry Back Office

^View from the back of the office to Conference room door

This was a very fun, manageable project. You can see the ceiling is fairly low and the space in relatively small, but the make over really cleaned it up, and it feels like a spacious, comfortable room. Lauren picked out the furniture, and I think it works beautifully.  The last touch will be a few pieces of colorful art, after that we’ve  reclaimed a pretty bitchin office space—and it is just a small taste of what is in store with the other 3000 square feet!