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‘Cartwheel’ Tower

Cold War tensions escalated on August 12, 1961 when Communist soldiers sealed off West Berlin with barbed wire barricades. In Washington, D.C., construction of a different sort was also underway that day, as the White House Signal Agency moved forward with a top-secret communications facility in Tenleytown.

It’s located in Fort Reno, a public park in a quiet suburban neighborhood. The spot may seem odd for a classified military project. It was selected because of Reno’s elevation, which is the highest in the city, and because the 100-foot-tall tower could blend in amongst the two preexisting water towers.



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