Central Office Building Picutures
Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions regarding this site.
Why are you here? What is your mission?
Short answer: Just because. Medium answer: Historical preservation because telephone central offices as we know them may not be around much longer. Long answer: To continue a tradition of collecting pictures of telephone central office buildings. It is a challenge to find these buildings and take pictures of them. It is also fun.
Who are you?
A telephone enthusiast. I am not a current or former telephone company employee of any kind. This site is only a hobby of mine. I'm not here to do any harm whatsoever. I'm here to take pictures and post them on the site.
What is your inspiration?
A fellow telephone enthusiast named Parris Wood from the Tidewater area of Virginia (Virginia Beach metro) ran a similar website called Telebeans. He took great pictures of telephone central office buildings in his area and other areas of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Sadly, he passed away in early 2006. He was very young (maybe not quite 30) and no one knew exactly why. (Some have speculated he had a heart defect). I made some contributions to his site a number of years ago, eventually merged some of the photos on his site onto this one.
I have preserved the former Telebeans website for posterity, including purchasing the domain name and setting it back up as as Parris had it in the mid 2000s.
The Telephone Central Office Building Pictures website was created before his death, but it is now honoring Parris' efforts and will continue on with his efforts.
There is also another site called The Central Office operated by a former telephone company employee. The webmaster of that site has graciously agreed to share his photos with us, and us with him.
Can I contribute?
Absolutely! Many of our pictures came from contributors. Please see our Contact Us page. Leave a message to the webmaster and he will send you an E-mail address to send photos to. Please take them with a GOOD camera (not a cell phone camera) if at all possible.
Where do you find these buildings?
There are several online repositories of this information. The two that I use quite frequently are Telcodata.us and Local Calling Guide. In addition, I use Google Maps with Google Street View to verify their presence before I go on a photographing mission. Though the information on Telcodata and Local Calling Guide are not quite up to date, they are good enough for most people to find their local telephone central office buildings.
How many Central Office Buildings are there?
In the United States, there are roughly 20,000 of these buildings. It's hard to get an exact number because of multiple telephone switches at one building, or one building (and telephone switch) serving multiple communities at the same time. In Canada, there are about 3,000 central offices. This site has slightly over 5000 listed, which is roughly 25% of all central office buildings in the US. So there are plenty for you to help out and contribute to the cause!
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