CA Cell Tower Disguised as Water Tower
A North Park, California, cell tower, designed as an homage to a local historic water tower, is taking shape along the town’s skyline, marking both a shift in design focus in making cell towers blend in with the surroundings and using local elements as inspiration.
According to city documents, the new cell tower, being built by AT&T, is to be a 49-foot-tall faux water tank, which will conceal panel antennas. Town signage will be added to the sides of the structure.
North Park Cell Tower
During the initial design proposal phase, the Community Planning Group guided AT&T toward developing a design that would reflect the historic North Park water tank. The real water tower, known as the University Heights Water Storage and Pumping Station, stands at 127 feet, 5.5 inches tall and was in operation from 1924 to 1967, constructed by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Corporation.
According to the San Diego Reader, some locals have expressed concern over the radiation the tower may emit. Another resident called the installation ugly, noting it was reminiscent of the three-legged robots from the movie version of War of the Worlds.
While the Greater North Park Community Plan does not specifically address wireless communication facilities, it does highlight where entrances to the community can be improved; one of these locations is the home of AT&T’s cell tower. The city’s general plan cites that WCFs should: conceal wireless facilities in existing structures where feasible, using screening and camouflage otherwise; facilities should be designed with respect to neighborhood context; and mechanical equipment should be concealed in underground vaults or in unobtrusive locations.
Construction is slated for completion by the end of this year. The added cell tower is expected to strengthen AT&T’s signal in the area.