The Book Booth: America's Littlest Library

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The Book Booth: America's Littlest Library

K8 telephone kiosk. Designed by Bruce Martin and introduced from 1968. A telephone kiosk built of six cast iron parts and an aluminium door. All sides of the kiosk, including the door, contain large sheets of toughened glass set in rectangular frames with rounded corners. The kiosk has a square plan with a flat roof dome that is glazed with toughened glass on four sides with rectangular panes, again with rounded corners, each bearing the word 'TELEPHONE' on a white background. The kiosk is painted red.

HISTORY: The K8 was built to a design by Bruce Martin following a competition held by the General Post Office (GPO) in 1965. Bruce Martin (1917-) studied engineering at the University of Hong Kong before qualifying in architecture at the Architectural Association. He worked for the architectural department at Hertfordshire County Council and became part of the group that was responsible for the so-called 'Hertfordshire Experiment', a progressive primary school building plan using pioneering construction techniques, pre-fabricated buildings and a child-centred design focus.

In relation to the K8, the main requirement within the GPO's design brief was that it should be easy to re-assemble on site and easy to maintain and/or repair in the future. This condition was met, and unlike the K6, the K8 was given interchangeable components. The design brief also stated that the kiosk had to last for at least 50 years and that its design had to be recognised as the UKs next generation of red telephone boxes. As a result, Bruce Martin analysed Scott's K6 meticulously and simplified and reduced its high number of components. Eventually, the K8 was given only 7 principal components with a choice of two types of roofs: a lozenge shape and a cast-line, of which this is the latter. The reasons for this are unknown, but both varieties were used. The K8 first appeared on the streets in 1968 and by 1983, 11,000 had been manufactured for the UK by the Lion Foundry, of which now only 12 have survived.


CURRENTLY, the Friends of Clinton Community Library have refurbished and repurposed the K8 into a  community book exchange.  Readcycling is encouraged...take a book, leave a book.   A small solar panel was installed on the roof and connected to a motion sensor light inside.  Whereupon an avid reader with late night book munchies, is able to open the booth door and a solar powered light will illuminate the booth with a pleasant Edward Hopperesque effect.

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For more information please check out The Book Booth: America's Littlest Library 's website:


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  • Claudia Cooley
    Claudia Cooley updated, removed a media, uploaded 3 media, updated a file, uploaded a file, added a digital reference and updated a media
    march 2013.jpg The SOLAR powered Book Booth, Clinton Corners NY
    about 4 years ago via