AT&T Cold War tower comes down

MARQUETTE – An AT&T tower that has been located on top of a downtown building for many years was removed Tuesday.

Over the course of the day, the tower was removed section by section by a crane. According to Marquette City Manager Bill Vajda, the tower had been used by the National Command Authority for its Emergency Message System during the Cold War. It housed microwave dishes that were taken down several years ago, Vajda said.

“The tower hasn’t been used in years and AT&T has finally been able to remove it,” he said. “It’s wonderful to see the city streetscape restored.”

After the successful implementation of AT&T’s first broadband microwave route from New York to Boston in 1947, Bell Laboratories developed the TD-2 type microwave radio system, which was first used on the transcontinental microwave route from New York to San Francisco from 1950 to 1951. Eventually, TD-2 was installed in nearly all of the microwave repeater sites on the AT&T network.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is