August 20, 2012

Seating Still Available ! 

Central Valley SBE Chapter 66

Bus Trip to San Francisco for Tour of  SUTRO Tower–includes lunch.

DATE:  Saturday August 25, 2012.  Leave Fresno 6AM. Return (approx) 6PM.
COST:   $35.00-including lunch.
TOUR GUIDE:  Eric Dausman (KD7DNM) Vice President, Sutro Tower, Inc.
Find out who’s on board  HERE

             S   U   T   R   O


Will you be there ?    SATURDAY AUGUST 25th 2012. . . stay tuned


Original Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk --- Sutro Tower, San Francisco, California, 27 October 2005Sutro Tower is a 977 foot (298 metre) self-supporting steel structure in San Francisco, California built to provide radio, television and high-definition television broadcasts as well as additional communication services despite the hilly topography of the bay area.

The physical address of the tower is 1 La Avanzada Street, San Francisco, California 94131-1124. The former address 250 Palo Alto Avenue, San Francisco, California 94114-2123 is still occasionally listed on official city and county documents. Sutro Tower stands at about 37.755278° (37°45’19.0″) North latitude and 122.45277° (122°27’10.0″) West longitude (view map) placing it just southeast of the Mount Sutro peak on an adjacent and connected hill that may be considered Clarendon Heights. The 5.6-acre fenced private property (Assessors Block 2724, Lot 3) includes the tower, 31,000 square-foot (2,880 square metre) transmission building, garage and storage building, guard station, diesel-powered emergency generators, two underground diesel storage tanks in concrete vaults for leak containment, ancillary antennas, assorted equipment and a paved, striped parking lot for twenty-three (23) automobiles.

Sutro Tower is owned and operated by Sutro Tower, Inc., an independent corporation founded in 1968 by the owners of bay area stations KTVU 2 (Cox Enterprises), KRON 4 (then Chronicle Publishingnow Young Broadcasting), KPIX 5 (thenWestinghouse Broadcasting now CBS Corporation) and KGO-TV 7 (then American Broadcasting Company now Disney/ABC). The owners hold equal shares in the corporation, which owns the tower and leases antenna space to broadcasters and other telecommunications clients. Pricing is reportedly adjusted for community stations like KQED 9 (Northern California Public Broadcasting) and KMTP 32 (Minority Television Project).

The General Manager of Sutro Tower is Eric Dausmanjoining the staff (STI) on 06 April 2009 as Vice President and successor to Eugene S. Zastrow. Following a six-month transition period during the DTV Conversion Project, Zastrow retired in October 2009 after working at the tower since 1992. Before moving to San Francisco, Dausman spent eighteen years at KGW-TVPortland, Oregon as Director of Technology.

Breaking ground in 1971 and completed in 1972, Sutro Tower was designed byAlbert C. Martin & Associates of Los Angeles, California and fabricated/erected by Kline Towers, a subsidiary of Kline Iron and Steel ofColumbia, South Carolina. The conditional use permit granted for the tower’s construction occurred in San Francisco Planning Commission Resolution 5967. The first transmissions from the tower commenced 04 July 1973. Sutro Tower’s base is 834 feet (254 metres) above mean sea level and the total height of the tower above mean sea level is 1,811 feet (552 metres), with an antenna height above average terrain of 732 feet (223 metres). With the help of the terrain below it, the three-pronged tower is the highest structure in the bay area.

Original Photo Credit: San Francisco Public Library --- Sutro Tower under construction (Left to Right) AAC-1275 1972; AAC-1281 April 1972; AAC-1278 15 August 1972

The Sutro Tower site is the original location of the Sutro Mansion built in the 1930’s by aviator and adventurer Adolph Gilbert Sutro (1891–1981), grandson of the former Mayor. The three-story La Avanzada villa would serve as home to Sutro and his mother until their relocation to land near Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. In 1948, he sold the house and surrounding land for $125,000 USD to the American Broadcasting Company for use as their new television station transmitter site.

On 05 May 1949, fifty employees at the Sutro Mansion studios produced the first show premiering KGO-TV via the new 580 foot (177 metre) broadcast tower (see a picture of this tower, looking up from the center, dated February 1960). About two years later, KPIX and several FM radio stations began renting space on the tower starting a trend that would shape the future of the site through the present. Although KGO-TV moved into new studios at 277 Golden Gate Avenuein 1953, the mansion continued to serve as the equipment and tower facility. By 1956, the broadcasters decided in order to cover more of the area terrain a new, taller antenna tower was required.

After the candidate site on Mount San Bruno was determined to be too close to the airport to support a tall tower, the Sutro Mansion site was selected. After years of hearings and litigation, Sutro Tower, Inc. was incorporated on 03 May 1968 and the $4 million Sutro Tower project got underway. Citing trespassing vandals and fire hazards as cause, the city included a directive in the final agreement that the mansion be removed during the project.

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