Growing up across from Valentine Hill, the historic grounds that not only George Washington occupied and set up camp at one point but also the home of the St. Joseph Seminary, I often starred in wonderment at the gigantic tower that loomed on top of the hill.
This thing is huge!!! Soaring several hundred feet into the sky and built in 1964, the tower serves as a huge wand, beaming out radio and television signals, mostly for religious instructional television but also major networks use the tower to connect their signals to other places in the tri-state-area and beyond.
According to their website, ITV is the Instructional Television service for the schools of the Archdiocese of New York. With broadcast studios located on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, ITV transmits educational programming in all subject areas to more than 100 elementary and high schools throughout the Archdiocese, from Staten Island to Sullivan County – an educational blanket of more than 4,700 square miles!
When I visited the tower, I asked one of the supervisor’s there if there were any plans for taking the tower down at some point to build a more modern structure to which he snickered, “you have to be joking kid!”
That was the exact answer I wanted to hear as this tower, albeit approaching 50 years in age, is not only an ensign for Yonkers but has found a place in the 21st century not only expanding its broadcasting capabilities, but also serving as a tower for cellular service.
I walked up to the Tower…well about 40 ft from the base, not wanting to get chastised by security but more importantly, wanting to not permanently sterilize myself forever. I mean if you are not supposed to stand in front of a microwave then I think high voltage towers should be on that list as well.
The Cell phones panels are located about half way up the span.
Another satellite dish of some sort can be seen even further up…boy would I like to have all those channels that thing must be picking up on television! Probably can get stuff in Europe and Asia! Ok I’m just being dumb now!
The crowning feature of the Tower of course are the huge…I dunno what the hell they are, fly looking things! I always thought that they looked like huge eyes of a fly or some other bug like creature.
Here’s another look
Notice the two traffic camera that have been mounted just below the two “eyes” used by law enforcement and if you live in Westchester and watch the traffic reports, these two cameras can be seen, often times swaying in the wind due to their height, displaying traffic conditions on the New York State Thurway and Cross County Parkway.
Well there you have it! I will be posting about The St.Joseph Seminary in a future post but for now, I figured the isolated and often taken for granted T.V. Tower on the grounds of the seminary deserved its own acknowledgement and spotlight. So what if it is odd-looking. So what if it looks like a visitor from another planet that just happens to be a conduit for telecommunications. So what!
I mean I look like I come from another planet and I cannot do one tenth of the things this tower does. If you are in the area of Seminary Ave or anywhere really on the Southeast side of Yonkers, take a moment and gaze up at the tower with bug eyes.