Secret Telephone Buildings

“In harmony with its residential location,” we read in a paper called “Radio Relay and Other Special Buildings,” originally published in the Spring 1950 issue of Bell Telephone Magazine, “this building serves nevertheless as a voice-frequency repeater and coaxial main station.” An empty suburban house, inhabited only by machines and spectral voices.

(Earlier on BLDGBLOG: Transformer Houses.)

7 thoughts on “Secret Telephone Buildings”

  1. You’ll have seen it by now, but:

    “Residents confined to their homes in a corner of northern Paris have been plunged back to one of the darkest moments of the city’s past.

    Two streets – Rue Berthe and Rue Androuet – in Montmartre in the shadow of the Sacré-Coeur basilica have been left in a timewarp of the Nazi occupation after they were returned to 1942 for a film set.”

    That’s the next level of simulation: a period film set during a real pandemic. if it’s a monitoring device, right about now it’s monitoring silence.

    But it’s also interesting for future archaeologists: if all humans disappeared now, what would they make of that corner of the city? A monument? A strange Western version of a cargo cult? A 1:1 scale reconstruction, perhaps abandoned when it was just getting started?

    1. Federico, thanks for this—sorry for the late reply. The idea of a permanent abandoned film set being absorbed into everyday life—let alone one depicting occupied France—has interesting ideological implications all over it.

      Hope you’re staying safe and sane in lockdown!

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