Thursday, May 04, 2006

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The two towers

Two wireless-communications towersNo, we're not talking about Tolkien here. In the composite photo to the right (click to enlarge), the image on the left is of the Putnam Valley cell tower. The image on the right is of the cell tower at the north end of Croton-on-Hudson.

Now, I understand that they're trying to, uh, hide their tower by making it blend into the environment. I'd say they've quite failed: the thing on the right seems to be almost, but not completely, unlike a tree. Rather, it could have come right out of the darkest depths of Mordor. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I find old Minas Morgul there on the right to be far more obtrusive and ugly than the plain tower on the left. (And I'm happy that it's the one on the left that's near my house, and that my eyes are seldom assaulted by the one on the right.)

The New York times once reported on a cell tower in Arizona "disguised" as a saguaro cactus, which, the Times said, might resemble a real cactus if viewed from Wyoming.

Open message to cell-tower builders: Trying to camouflage your towers is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It doesn't work, and it annoys the pig.


Update, 13 July: And, hey, check out this Washington Post article.

4 comments:

Ross Patterson said...

Yup, that "tree" is truly ugly. But as a counter-example, we've got a number of them here in NoVA that fit very well into their surroundings. The "trunks" are brown (albeit too sleek), and the antenna mounts are slightly "furry", but they're placed in among clumps of tall, straight trees and look more-or-less appropriate. At least, they're not as jarring as an unadorned tower would be. And we've got LOTS of those :-)

Julio Cesar said...

Hmmm, I saw the same landscape "mind bogling" views when I was working at a CT customer back in 2004...

One day I was roaming around and I spotted a bunch of these "Treentennas"... At first I thought I forgot my glasses at the hotel but when I realized the trick I thought: "No way that antenna is blending with the landscape!"...

Anyway, in some dark basement in a telephony company some designer is now thinking: "My preeeecious!.." ;)

Jim Fenton said...

Are we comparing apples and apples here? The antenna on the left looks to be considerably further away (although that wouldn't be enough to make it more obtrusive than the one on the right). Also, are you sure that the antenna on the left has an equivalent number of antenna elements?

The one disguise that seems to work rather well is church steeples. The lease income is beneficial to the church as well. But I'm not advocating the construction of faux churches out in the middle of nowhere!

Barry Leiba said...

-- The antenna on the left looks to be considerably further away

Actually, that's just an artifact of the photos. My guess is that they're each roughly the same distance from the camera.

-- Also, are you sure that the antenna on the left has an equivalent number of antenna elements?

I have no idea about that.

Hm, the idea from Jim's last paragraph is interestingly amusing. "Hey, Bob, what's that church doing up here on this remote mountaintop?"