Spotted: Pay Phone Planter

We’ve all seen them, although less and less with the popularity of cell phones – the ubitquitous phone booth. Recently on a site visit, I was walking by an adjacent property and spied some great makeshift plastic planters. I’d been looking at prefab products to use for rooftop agriculture, so did a double-take on these.

:: overall composition – image by Jason King

It took a moment or two to realize that the cryptic lettering on the side was in fact a silouhette of a telephone, and that these planters were in fact casings from exterior phones.

:: closeup – image by Jason King
The following day, I noticed this remnant of the original style along MLK Jr. Boulevard here in Portland… they do still exist…

:: image via Jason King

I can’t actually remember the last time I saw one of these in action, as they’ve been replaced by either the more boxy variety, or removed altogether. Here’s the closest photo via the web that I found (and it was a tough to track even this image down).

:: image via
Payphone Depot

Although the newer models seem to work as well – plus many of them have the phones already missing. The phone shaped ‘weepholes’ along the side would allow for some supplemental drainage perhaps?

:: image via College Publisher

So for quick and easy planters – and adaptive reuse of materials – it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for sustainable possibilities. Another idea we were kicking around was the switch from the ubiquitous Portland yellow recycle bins to bigger multi-use bins, which will inevitably give us a surplus of these bad boys – which are ready for the garden or rooftop ag… with handles and drainage holes…

:: image via
And another example, predominately along NE Alberta, the form of trashcan liberation, where the old exposed aggregate clunker, mostly painted in bright colors, sometimes artfully broken as well – is transformed into a small urban garden… awwwww.

:: image via Jason King

And my favorite, from Hopworks Urban Brewery, one that celebrates one of Portland’s major industry… (actually these are imported Iron City beer kegs from Pittsburg) – cheers!

:: image via Oregonlive

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