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Western Union Tower Washington, D. C.

  • Year Built: 1947
  • Architect: Leon Chatelain, Jr.
  • Built By: Jeffress-Dyer, Inc.

The Western Union Telegraph Company tower represents a milestone in engineering history.

The main structure was constructed to serve as a “beam terminal,” i.e., a transmission and receiving station.

It was to serve as the southern terminal station in the Western Union New York-Washington-Pittsburgh radio relay triangle, a significant step in the development of modern communications and the first commercial network of its kind in the U.S.

Constructed of limestone and brick in a style reminiscent of Art Deco and Moderne periods, this is very possibly the only architect-designed facility, designed solely as an antenna system, in the country.

Purpose built, the Western Union Tower is a rare example of very specialized construction in its period.

Based on an application submitted by Consulting Historian David Rotentstein this site had previously been deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board in 2003.

(Listed in DC Inventory of Historic Sites, 2008)

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