That Old Orange Tower Downtown Is Being Dismantled
The Rockford skyline is about to get a little less orange.
If you have no idea what the tower was used for, don't worry, you're not alone.
RRStar - Rockford Register Star archives indicate the tower was originally installed in 1962 by Illinois Bell as a microwave radio tower that was primarily meant for telephone signals, but was capable of receiving and transmitting television signals. It was part of a nationwide network for decades. By the turn of the century, the microwave technology had been rendered obsolete by fiber optic cable.
It turns out that just like every other piece of technology from the 60s, it had become completely obsolete.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has been issued a permit for work through July 27th but believe they will be done before then. There will be some downtown street closures during the demolition.
One thing that is confusing me about the story is the apparent glee of some Rockford residents that this "eyesore" will finally be gone. Now I'm no architect, but I thought it looked kind of cool. It was a landmark of sorts to a young Joe Dredge. I used to go downtown a lot with my grandparents to see Lightning games at the MetroCentre and the orange tower always let me know that we were almost there.
I'll miss you Orange Useless Tower. You were a useless eyesore to some but will always be special to me.