Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Radio Tower Atop Kennesaw Mountain Stirs Controversy


By Joe Kirby
August 2005


KENNESAW, Ga. – A new communications tower atop Kennesaw Mountain is more obtrusive than expected and is drawing criticism.

The 112-foot tower was erected in early May and is topped by radio equipment used by a variety of local public safety agencies, local hospitals, the National Park Service and utilities.

But it looks little different than a typical cell-phone tower. And though park officials promised it would be less visible than the four antennas it replaced, it turned out to be more visible.

The new tower rises an estimated 20 feet or so higher than the surrounding foliage near the top of the mountain and, to make matters worse, is on the side of the crest that faces nearby Marietta and Atlanta. Though the old towers could be seen from the base of the mountain by those with a practiced eye, the new tower is clearly visible from downtown Marietta several miles away.

That prompted grousing by local friends of the park and at least one sarcastic letter to the editor of the Marietta Daily Journal.

"I would like to compliment Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park officials for permitting the recent construction of the historically accurate cell phone tower atop Kennesaw Mountain," wrote reader Rick Schick of Marietta. "Now, as visitors stand on top of Kennesaw Mountain, not only the cannons but the cell tower can serve as a reminder of how the war was fought. Our children will be able to picture in their minds the Civil War soldiers making critical battlefield decisions and communicating with their loved ones back home on their cell phones. …
"Lest we ever forget, it is only through the liberal use of asphalt, concrete and steel that true historic preservation can be achieved."

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