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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tenleytown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

In Touch with the World

Top of the Town

 

—Tenleytown Heritage Trail —

 
In Touch with the World Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 23, 2010
1. In Touch with the World Marker
Inscription.
“Tenley Tower,” behind you, dates from the mid-1940s. Western Union Telegraph Co. built it as part of an experimental system using microwaves to transmit telegrams in the mid-Atlantic region. This new technology helped erase telegraph wires and poles from the landscape. In addition, the tower was designed to relay recently invented television signals, which gave Western Union and its partner RCA a decided head start in the television revolution of the 1950s. During the Cold War era, the 90-foot tower also handled national security communications. In 1996 it became a cellular telephone transmitter.

Also taking advantage of this high point beginning in 1953 was Broadcast House, located behind the tower, at 40th and Brandywine Streets. With three WTOP TV studios and four WTOP radio studios, Broadcast House was the nation’s first production facility designed for both media. In the 1950s, Pick Temple’s Giant Ranch was produced here, with local children playing “Giant Rangers” amid the studio’s bales of hay. It was home to Washington’s CBS affiliate, until WUSA-9 moved to 4100 Wisconsin Avenue in 1992. In 1993 American University’s public radio station WAMU moved into 4000 Brandywine Street.

The building diagonally across the intersection was N.M. Cohen and Samuel Lehrman’s third DC-area
In Touch with the World Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 23, 2010
2. In Touch with the World Marker
close-up of photographs, below text on front.
Giant Food Store. When the first Giant opened in 1939, it helped end an era. In place of the grocer who quoted prices and handed you your order, Giant offered up-to-date marked pricing, self-service, and efficient check-out.
 
Erected 2010 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Location. 38° 56.988′ N, 77° 4.838′ W. Marker is in Tenleytown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue, NW and Brandywine Street, NW, on the right when traveling south on Wisconsin Avenue, NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20016, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Spirit of Community (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Civil War Defenses of Washington (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Reno (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Country Road (approx. ¼ mile away); To the Rescue (approx. ¼ mile away); On the Circle (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tenleytown.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a photo with the caption, "This view, made around 1980, shows Broadcast House,
In Touch with the World Marker (reverse) image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 23, 2010
3. In Touch with the World Marker (reverse)
View toward Tenley Tower and Broadcast House Building.
right center, Western Union’s Tenley Tower, Broadcast House’s transmission towers, and a construction shaft for Metrorail." [The Washington Post]

On the lower left are photos of "The new Giant Food store, showing the ramp to its rooftop parking lot, 1942, top. Hechinger replaced Giant in 1958." [Library of Congress; Historical Society of Washington, D.C.]

On the right are photos with the caption, "As WAMU moved to Brandywine St., the station featured Diane Rehm, above, interviewing First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Ray Davis of Blue Grass Country."[WAMU]

On the lower right are photos of "Critic Davey Marlin-Jones, above, and anchor Max Robinson, the faces of WDVM Channel 9 (later WUSA 9), when it beamed from Broadcast House in the 1970s." [WUSA 9]
 
Categories. CommunicationsEntertainmentScience & MedicineWar, Cold
 
In Touch with the World Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 23, 2010
4. In Touch with the World Marker - photo on reverse
"WTOP TV’s Pick Temple sings to the cameras in 1954 while his canine co-star, Lady relaxes under the saddle" [Washington Post].
Western Union’s Tenley Tower and the Broadcast House transmission towers image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 23, 2010
5. Western Union’s Tenley Tower and the Broadcast House transmission towers
Viewed from Wisconsin Ave. near the "In Touch with the World" marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 794 times since then and 51 times this year. Last updated on January 21, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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