© 2001-2020
Man From Mars Productions

869 Blue Hills Avenue
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In early October 1930, Franklin M. Doolittle petitioned the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) for permission to relocate WDRC from New Haven to Hartford. Doolittle Radio Corporation had secured studio and office space in the Corning Building at 11 Asylum Street in downtown Hartford but still needed a transmitter site. Mrs. George J. Maher and her family owned about 20 acres along Blue Hills Avenue in Bloomfield, directly across the street from Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery. The Mahers lived at 799 Blue Hills Avenue. Doolittle arranged to lease several acres at what became 783 Blue Hills Avenue and started work on erecting two 165-foot steel antennae and installing a new 500 watt transmitter.

There was a brief hiccup as the Bloomfield Zoning Commission delayed approval of the project until the FRC authorized the move on October 17.

On Monday, October 21 concrete work was begun by the Foundation Construction Company of Hartford. The Allyn Wadhams Company, also of Hartford, was awarded a contract to build the building pictured below. The overall project budget was $7,361. Under the supervision of consulting engineer Norman I. Adams, a Yale University physics professor, the towers were finished by November 16.

The final New Haven broadcast took place on November 23 and WDRC's first Hartford broadcast occurred on December 5, 1930.

 

Click on thumbnails for enlargements.

original building at 783 Blue Hills Avenue
Original building at 783 Blue Hills Avenue in Bloomfield
original building at 783 Blue Hills Avenue
Another shot of original transmitter building
original building at 783 Blue Hills Avenue
Transmitter building and antennas in winter
783 Blue Hills Avenue - January 17, 1936
Transmitter site - January 17, 1936; note three towers
Transmitter building at 869 Blue Hills Avenue
Transmitter building at 869 Blue Hills Avenue
Bloomfield transmitter site in winter
Bloomfield transmitter site in winter
  The original transmitter building was replaced by a brick structure 40 feet away in October, 1934. Originally numbered 783, the new building was numbered 785. Bloomfield renumbered the street in September, 1937 so the address was changed again to 869.  
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