April 2014
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ATT Long Lines Site, Rock City NY

Another one of those former ATT Long Lines sites which has been re-purposed. This site was known as Rock City and as the name suggests, it is a fairly remote location. These locations were chosen by ATT to facilitate microwave relay between cities.  Some of the more remote rural locations are so far off the beaten path that they do not make good wireless carrier sites today.  Such is the case here, there simply are not enough people around to turn this into a profitable cell site.

Former ATT long lines site, Rock City NY

Former ATT long lines site, Rock City, NY

This site is useful in other ways, the local township purchased it and has put it to use for E911 dispatch and other uses such as WKZE translator W290BZ.

Former ATT long lines Western Electric Tower, Rock City NY

Former ATT long lines Western Electric Tower, Rock City, NY

The tower is less than 200 feet tall, therefore it is no longer painted or lit. These old Western Electric towers were really built. Under that peeling paint, the galvanizing is still in near perfect condition. The tower dates from 1968.

Former ATT tower, Rock CIty NY

Former ATT tower, Rock City, NY

The Western Electric KS-15676 microwave antennas and waveguide have been removed. The top platform is quite large, one could build a house up there. The W290BZ antenna is the cross polarized LPA attached to the center pole which is barely visible.

Former ATT long lines site, Rock City NY.  The big empty.

Former ATT long lines site, Rock City, NY. The big empty.

This room held the switch gear and TD-3 microwave radios.

Former ATT site, Rock City NY 100 KW generator

Former ATT site, Rock City, NY 100 KW generator

The original General Motors 100 KW diesel generator. The fuel tank was removed before the site was transferred from ATT to the new owners.  If reconnected to a fuel supply and the block heater turned on, I’d bet this unit would start and run.

ATT Rock City NY generator, Detroit Diesel straight six engine

ATT Rock City, NY generator Detroit Diesel straight six engine

ATT Rock City NY fuel tank cathodic projection unit.

ATT Rock City, NY fuel tank cathodic projection unit.

The tank had a Cathodic protection unit installed, which ran a small DC current through the tank to keep it from rusting.

The original visitors log book is still there, showing every ATT person who visited the site from 1968 until it was decommissioned in 1994.  This site was unmanned and remotely monitored and controlled from somewhere else.  Maintenance personal showed up at regular intervals or to fix specific problems.

Like many of its rural counterparts, this site sits mostly empty since the microwave equipment was removed in the early 1990’s.  This one seems to be well taken care of, others are in terrible shape.

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9 comments to ATT Long Lines Site, Rock City NY

  • I got a pretty good shot of the W290BZ antenna from the hill behind the tower. (And in the company of about a dozen deer.)


  • Paul Thurst

    Thanks Mike, your camera lens is better than mine.

  • No problem Paul. As i’ve said before, anything from my site you want to use here, feel free, no questions asked.

  • Bob Doolittle

    Here’s another use for a former AT&T site.


  • Paul Thurst

    Bob, color me green with envy. How did the yagi make out after the ice storm?

  • Bob Doolittle

    I got curious about these sites and came upon this:

    Do not search for “AT&T long line sites for sale”
    What the sold for back about 10 years ago could make one

  • Josh White

    There is a site almost Identical to the one above in the home town of Brownsville, Ky Latitude – Longitude:
    37.219369,-86.304493 it too has the microwave horns removed. The county uses it for the EMS and Police radio services and the National park does too.

  • Jeff Alterman

    I know about the former Rock City microwave relay station by looking at the old maps of the AT&T microwave relay network. From what is being described, the Rock City location was an addition. I have such a microwave relay station near me in Alpine, New Jersey on the west side of the Hudson River on top of the Palisades.. I believe it was built in the 1960s. I’m on the east side of the Hudson River in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and I can clearly see the former AT&T site from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. The tower had the horn antenna removed in early 2001. Like a great many of these old AT&T microwave relay tower, this one still stands and has also been repurposed. Now it serves as a cell phone tower and possibly for other purposes.

  • Jeff Alterman

    I have seen the Rock City AT&T Long Lines site. I saw it from the seat of the New Standard D-25 biplane that the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome flies on weekends weather permitting from Mid-May through Late-October. I saw the tower on October 11, 2015. When I saw the platform where the horn antenna were once mounted, I knew it was the former Rock City AT&T microwave relay site.

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