Rhode Island Ave Call Boxes


Client: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Location: Washington, DC, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Community Client

Kyle Todd

Friends of Rhode Island Ave

Metal Installer

Kenneth Hendrix

Rare Earth Metals


DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities


Fabritek, Daniel Gray Arts and Laran Bronze

Fabritek, Daniel Gray Arts and Laran Bronze.


Working with Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Charles Bergen Studios was awarded a $50,000.00 Public Art Building Communities Grant from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities to implement artwork designs for six historic cast iron callboxes on Rhode Island Avenue NE. Rhode Island Avenue Mainstreet a local community group had had contacted me about providing artwork for the one police and five fire callboxes on Rhode Island Ave NE. Each design has a unique connection to the history of the neighborhood and Washington, DC. The six themes are the Metropolitan Branch Line, The Maryland and Washington Railway, The Columbian Harmony Cemetery, the History of the Callboxes, and the musician, composer and performer Bo Diddley.


The goal was to focus on the unique history of the neighborhood immediately surrounding each callbox while at the same time being broad enough focused to appeal to all Washington, DC residents, visitors and and culture. This was very important and helped us to select the subject matter for each callbox and then create appropriate artwork.

Additional Information

Charles Bergen Studios worked with Aaron Rogers, Mara Cherkasky, Brandon Bailey to design this artwork. The fabricators and installer are listed below in the Project Team section. While the grant was only $50,000 the Community got about twice that value in volunteer work, unpaid time and materials.