Pentagram Intern Toilet, ‘Must-See Attraction,’ Rakes in Quarters

By Stephanie Murg Comment

(Annue Tritt for NYT).jpg

Back in January, we passed on news of the sparkling new pay-per-use public toilet, the first of its kind in New York City, in Pentagram‘s backyard—that is, Madison Square Park. The self-cleaning Jetsonian marvel, which features Paula Scher‘s endlessly versatile identity for the park and which we lovingly referred to as Pentagram’s “intern toilet,” is a hit!

According to The New York Times, the seven-month-old, newsstand-sized, “high-end outhouse…has proved to be a popular attraction, with about five people each hour popping in a quarter to use it during its hours of operation, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.” (But how does the City employee tasked with emptying the coffers resist the urge to “reinvest” those quarters at the nearby Shake Shack?)

Constructed by Spanish firm Cemusa, the toilet is the first of 20 slated for New York. And while the pioneering Madison Square Park version is a success with most people, one architect was befuddled by its workings. According to the Times, “Jayson Durango, 27, a regular user of Starbucks and Quiznos bathrooms when he is on the go, said he was confused by the array of buttons inside the toilet—one to flush, one for emergencies, another to open the door.”