KVLY-TV Mast – Blanchard, North Dakota - Atlas Obscura


Blanchard, North Dakota

This sky-high radio mast is the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere, and formerly the tallest in the world. 


At 2,063 feet, the KVLY-TV mast is the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere, and the fourth-tallest structure in the world today. But because it is supported by guy wires, and is not a self-supporting structure, it’s often left off of lists proclaiming the world’s tallest buildings or towers.

Upon its completion in 1963, this sky-high radio mast was the tallest structure in the world, until it was surpassed by the Warsaw Radio Mast about a decade later. When the Warsaw mast collapsed unexpectedly in 1991, the KVLY-TV mast reclaimed its title, until the 2,722 foot tall skyscraper Burj Khalifa in Dubai was completed in 2010.

Adding to the superlatives, the KVLY-TV mast was the first manmade structure to exceed 2,000 feet in height. The structure itself takes up 160 acres of land with its guy anchors. Owned by Gray Television of Atlanta, Georgia, the tower broadcasts at 356 kW on channel 44 for television station KVLY-TV (channel 11 PSIP, an NBC/CBS affiliate), based in Fargo, North Dakota. The tower provides a broadcast area of roughly 9,700 square miles.

Five miles away stands the KRDK-TV mast, which at 2,060 feet is currently the fifth-tallest structure in the world. This mast, completed in 1966, has collapsed and been rebuilt twice: once in 1968, when a Marine helicopter crashed into it, killing all four onboard, and once in 1997, during an ice storm with 70 mph winds.

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February 21, 2017

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