Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A radio station, a home and the tenants who have loved it

By Jean Bartlett
Pacifica Tribune correspondent
Updated: 01/05/2010 07:38:59 PM PST

The slowly crumbling history of Dollar Radio

It's a breathtaking view from the old Dollaradio receiving station where a look due west reveals a long grand drop to seagulls soaring above a great mass of waves while hints of the Farallon Islands peek from behind December skies. Around garden beds of succulents, torch lilies and Monterey Cypress bent by salt and rain there is a wooden landing. From here visitors easy with heights can follow a great number of wooden steps down the mountain's ravine to a private walk of sand and sea. It is hard to imagine that just so many blocks south, drivers pull into the Pacific Manor Shopping Center completely unaware that an old bastion of California history sits quietly up the hill.

Erected in 1926, the Dollaradio station was part of a communication network operated by Globe Wireless to serve the steamships owned by the self-made lumber and shipping magnate and profound humanitarian Robert Dollar. The ship-toshore radio and telegraph station was composed of two buildings, a transmitting station with nine giant towers, two of them 250 feet high (demolished in the '40s to build Fairmont West) and a receiving station perched along what is now Palmetto north. 

Morse code transmissions once shot through these towers and Admiral Richard E. Byrd reported in from his 1928 Antarctic expedition. Time and progress eventually left the receiving station silent. 

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Posted by Steve Sinai 

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