Tenleytown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
In Touch with the World
Top of the Town
—Tenleytown Heritage Trail —
“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
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. Set in Stone (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Reno City (about 600 feet away); A Spirit of Community (approx. 0.2 miles away); Reservoir/Reno City (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); Early Inhabitants (approx. ¼ mile 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,
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. • Communications • Entertainment • Science & Medicine • War, Cold •
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 831 times since then and 28 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.