To date, close to 700 LinkNYC Wifi kiosks have been installed throughout the five boroughs. Among their features are an app that lets users make free calls anywhere in the U.S., as well as a dedicated red 911 button for emergencies. Coupled with the fact that most New Yorkers have cell phones on them, it seems that the city’s 14,813 red alarm boxes serve basically no purpose anymore. In fact, as Crain’s tells us, last year, the boxes were used only 11,440 times to call the FDNY, which is an average of less than once per box. And, of these calls, only 13 percent were for actual emergencies and just 1.5 percent for fires. But yet, the city spends a whopping $6.8 million annually paying electricians to repair the call boxes and others to paint over graffiti.
Engine 33 via Eric on Flickr
Firehouses represent some of the most beautiful architecture in New York City, and now instead of just peeking inside through the windows (or ogling the FDNY calendar) you’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with these firehouses (and maybe even some of the calendar models). To mark its 150th anniversary, the FDNY is hosting a citywide open house on Saturday, May 2nd where the public will be welcomed inside.