Miami University’s towering landmark to come down this month

A 63-year-old landmark visible throughout the Miami University campus will soon be coming down.

The Williams Hall Transmission Tower, once used for both Miami radio and television broadcasts from the school’s Oxford campus, will be dismantled later this month, said school officials.

The 342-feet-tall tower has been highest and most visible structure on the school’s campus since 1957.

But it’s long outlived its usefulness, said Cody Powell, associate vice president for facilities planning and operations for Miami.

“It’s been part of the campus for a very long time,” said Powell, of the tower, which was built at the same time as Williams Hall and is adjacent to house the school’s broadcast program and later media and film study.

The three-legged tower is visible for miles around Oxford and required flashing red lights to warn away air traffic. The lights had to be checked daily, he said, adding to the expense of maintaining the structure, which included periodic inspections, painting and repairs.

“We had to pay qualified companies to do the work … it wasn’t cheap,” said Powell.

In the early 2000s Miami’s public television station WPTO stopped using the tower and instead switched to a higher tower in Cincinnati for broadcasting.

By 2010, Miami’s radio station WMUB ceased tower broadcasts and in recent decades the tower had served as a support for a number of cellular phone companies but those were dismantled and removed earlier this fall.

“It doesn’t make sense to have the tower in the middle of campus,” he said.

In 2016 a Miami student committed an apparent suicide by climbing and then jumping off the tower.

Dismantling crews will bring in cranes to take apart the tower starting Dec. 8 and Powell said the work should take about three days.

The cement foundation of the tower will remain once the tower is gone.

“It doesn’t have a very big foot print,” he said.

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