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Armstrong knew that he needed a reasonably-tall tower for his FM experiments, and with the Empire State Building denied to him, he decided to build his own tower. Nobody knew much about the interaction of VHF antennas with tower structures (indeed, nobody knew much about VHF antennas, period), so Armstrong built this unique three-tiered tower to provide plenty of room for experimentation with different antenna designs and mounting locations.
The batwing antenna at the center of the top level is a TV backup antenna used by WNBC (4 New York). Today, nearly all of the transmitters are located in a building built in and around the base of the tower a few years ago by CSC. The new building replaced an untidy assemblage of "temporary" structures arrayed around the base.
Copyright 2005, Garrett Wollman. All rights reserved. Photograph taken 2005-06-11.