Building Description Radio Central Complex, Rocky Point New York

The existing structures of the former Radio Central transmitting complex are located near the center of a flat, sandy tract of 5,200 acres at Rocky Point on Long Island's North Shore. Though a series of twelve, 410-foot antenna towers once radiated from the transmitter to the surrounding tract, these structures have all been demolished and removed Since 1960. Miles of underground antenna wire were also removed by RCA prior to the transfer of property ownership to the State of New York in 1978. Building 1 was the principal operating center and administration building, Building 9 was an auxiliary transmitting facility.

Built in stages over Radio Central's first operating decade, Building 1 is a poured concrete structure consisting of a center, south section erected in 1921, east and west wings added in 1925, and a lobby/office wing added in 1931. The building originally housed two 200 KW Alexanderson high-frequency alternators which powered the banks of water-cooled transmitting apparatus. Several transmitters of 1920 vintage remain in place, but most early equipment was replaced during the fifty-seven years of operation at Rocky Point. The building appears much as it did during the 1930's, along with two banks of timber antennae located east and west of Building 1. The circulating system and pool used to cool the early transmitters also remains intact immediately north of Building 1.

In contrast to the purely functional characteristics embodied in Building 1, the lobby wing of 1931 exhibits Spanish Mission-style design features in its glazed tile roof, arched windows and door openings, rustic oak doors and its stenciled gilt ceiling. The marble door surround of the main entrance is surmounted by a carved Art Deco-style medallion bearing the "RCA" logo.

Jonah Road, the principal access to the complex from Rocky Point Road to the west, is an original feature leading to the landscaped grounds and circular drive of Building 1.

Located approximately one mile northeast of Building 1, Building 9 was a large two-story concrete building dating from 1931, and was added to the complex when RCA expanded its high-frequency transmitting Operations. Radio telegraph and teletype transmissions originated at Building 1, radiophoto transmissions and emergency backup functions were reserved for the transmitters of Building 9. Transmissions from Building 9 ceased in 1970.

Despite its functional simplicity of design, Building 9 exhibits several Art Deco-style features, the most notable being an elaborate cast concrete panel bearing the legend, "RCA Communications, Inc.," on a semicircular field of stylized clouds and radio waves.

Building 9 was stripped of all transmitting equipment, and its banks of timber antennae were demolished by RCA in 1978.