© Norman Sperling, July 6, 2013
My son Lumin wanted to see the tallest artificial structures in the US. They’re a pair of TV masts near Blanchard, North Dakota, each over 2000 feet tall, higher than any buildings except the Birj Khalifa and the Tokyo Sky Tree, both in Asia.
The 2 are visible from many miles away. Though tall, they’re very slender frameworks, largely supported by guy wires. So the problem in spotting them at a distance is not their height but their thinness. Also, the day we went, the air was a bit hazy.
We drove pretty close to the southern tower, which is a few feet shorter than its older neighbor. Then we drove to the northern one. Right up to it on its dirt road. Wow, that’s WAY tall, over 800 feet taller than the Empire State Building.
The big surprise for me was to read the little sign on the lonely tower. It was built in 1963! It’s been the tallest artificial structure in America for half a century, and the sources I read scarcely mentioned it. I’m sure glad my son paid more attention to that record than I did. This is a very impressive structure, and it has been for 50 years, and people don’t pay it much attention. We should be prouder of it.