NYC Public School Using Houdini-Style Locks

We were renting a Queens public school gym recently for holding and catering…


I was busy studying this apparatus (pull up bar?) and having horrible gym class flashbacks, when I noticed a padlock attached to it…


Glad to know the NYC public schools schools are still using locks that look like Houdini should be escaping from them!



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  1. Wanna bet that most kids wouldn’t be able to pick that lock given everything they use now days is technology powered by batteries and the internet. LOL

  2. Looks like maybe there was a punching bag attached?

  3. That lock is beautiful, especially the keyhole. I would love to see the key that fits it!

  4. Wow! You have a very sharp eye. That’s a nice little detail to notice.

  5. The modern incarnation of that style of lock is the disc padlock:

    It’s preferred for some applications as it’s engineered to allow a minimum of space for bolt cutters.

  6. yup, that’s actually the style (modern, of course) that i use on my storage locker. rated super tough to hack.

  7. Could it be a punching bag hanger?

  8. Actually it is a chinning bar…….we had one in my elementary school a bazillion years ago.

  9. I was recently in a NYC P.S. for the first time in thirty years and was amazed at how many of the original (?) antique door knobs ( were still in use. These are just beautiful and remind me of my days in P.S. 113 in Glendale, Queens.

  10. It’s amazing how I look at these things and never notice. Notice how far up those pull up bars are! I’m also sure the keys for those locks are long gone. Props to our NYC school custodians for keeping these very old buildings looking new!

  11. I loved Gym

  12. Wow! They still have those locks. I remember using that bar to do pullups.

  13. There’s a hook on the end of the bar where a “heavy” punching bag would be attached. It’s certainly strong enough to be a chinning bar, but it wasn’t intended as such.

    Anybody, besides me, remember when there were also ropes hung down from the ceiling that the boys had to climb?

  14. Bruce– Yeah, I remember that. I somehow avoided ever having to do it though. I skipped 3/4 of our gym module due to a time table f-up, and the next year I moved to a new school where “Gym” was literally a gym with treadmills and rowing machines.

  15. what gym was this? it’s great! looking to rent out a school gym for an event…

  16. Those locks (or at least a very similar style) are used by Metro-North Railroad also. Theirs also have a chain welded on to attach them to whatever they are locking.

  17. This just so happens to be my middle school, IS 126. I wondering what you would be doing there??