Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Out With The Old, Etc.

This from NPR heard on my way home from work. Up until the recent opening of Dubai's Burj Khalifa reaching 2.717 feet into the heavens, the tallest structure in the world was the transmission tower for television station KVLY outside of Fargo, North Dakota. This tower was the first man made structure to exceed 2,000 feet. It's still in use today. Getting to the top takes twenty minutes in an elevator. It was finished in 1963 and cost half a million dollars to construct. Later the FCC advised against towers taller than 2,000 feet.
I once hosted a radio program from KDMI in Des Moines, Iowa. That tower was pretty tall. During the winter ice sometimes fell from its top and crushed cars parked nearby. I never parked my car nearby but had my car been crushed it would have only served as a metaphor for my radio program.
The man who tends to the KVLY tower said that his job was just about as terrifying as it got. Clearly he never hosted a talk show for radio station KDMI.
At any rate, KVLY's tower is now second fiddle to the Burj Khalifa. On the other hand, that tower may very well continue to hold its title of the cheapest really tall structure in the world for all eternity. That's gotta count for something. Especially in Fargo.

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