Spikes Keep Citizens Upright

#43. Spikes Keep Citizens Upright

© Jonathan David Marston

Urban furniture

A catalogue of anti-sitting devices installed to keep New Yorkers on their feet and off anything they could possibly sit on. Iron-and-steel spikes and railings grow like ivy, covering banisters, windowsills, standpipes, steps, and exhaust vents. No horizontal surface is too small to defend from the threat of temporary inhabitation. Installed by property owners, the devices are the product of the defensive, inward-looking architecture that emerged in New York in the late 1960s.
J. Marston is a writer, photographer, and researcher who now lives in Hudson, New York. He has been photographing anti-sitting devices for his blog, Transfer, since 2003.   


New York City building owners; pedestrians

Location: New York City, USA, since 2003

Tools: Metal railings