Campus, News

Sparks fly over weekend removal of COM radio tower

Boston University 2006 alumna Erica Kramer was showing a friend around Boston over the weekend when she happened to pass her alma mater, the College of Communication, in a very different state.

‘The way I pointed out COM was that it was the building with that really ugly thing on top,’ she said.

On Saturday, that ‘ugly thing on top’ ‘-‘- the college’s radio tower ‘-‘- came down after more than 50 years adorning the building.

COM Dean Tom Fiedler said that administrators took the tower down in an effort to move the college into the future. Though many students said they considered the tower ugly, others said they considered it to be one of the building’s defining features.

‘I just thought it was one of the only distinguishable things about the building,’ COM junior Tyler Remmert said. ‘Kids from COM do not take much pride from their facilities, so some historical part of it was the only source of pride you can get from the building.’

Remmert said he thinks COM needs to be ‘modernized,’ but removing the tower was not the best way to do it.

‘It’s a historical thing,’ he said. ‘You’re trying to move COM into the future, but you can’t just abandon its whole history.’

Fiedler said in an email that the school will be saving the top 15 feet of the tower to preserve its sentimental value, and it may stand on the college’s front lawn sometime in the future.

College of Engineering sophomore Benny Yin said though he thinks the tower looked ‘dated, and not with the times,’ it should have stayed in its place for ‘nostalgic’ reasons.’

‘I’ve been here for two years now, and I’ve gotten used to it,’ he said. ‘It’s kind of like the CITGO sign to me.’

‘ James McCarron, a construction worker taking down the structure on Saturday, said the tower’s old age made it a liability.’

‘It hasn’t been certified for 15 years,’ he said. ‘So it’s either got to stay up and pass an inspection maybe or come down. It was a hazard probably, or at some point, it was going to become a hazard.’

Even if it was a hazard, COM junior Josh Thomas said he thought the radio tower symbolized the building’s overall purpose.

‘I kind of liked it,’ he said. ‘It was not the most attractive radio tower, [but] I thought it made our school look professional.’

ENG sophomore Stephen Maouyo said that as an outsider to the college, he did not consider the radio tower as a ‘trademark’ of COM.

‘I thought other things stood out about COM, like the statue and the big grassy area out front,’ he said. ‘I thought there were more interesting things about COM than the tower.’

Kramer said she did not have good memories of the tower.

‘I remember that it made the building one of the ugliest buildings on the block, especially right across from [the School of Management],’ Kramer said. ‘I remember that it was an eyesore, and nobody knew why it was actually there, and if it helped transmit anything.

‘I guess now that it’s gone, we are going to have to find a new way to point [COM] out,’ she said.’

Staff writer Susan Zalkind contributed to the reporting of this story.

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