Voice of America Bethany Relay Station
The Voice of America’s Bethany Relay Station was located in Butler County, Ohio’s Union Township about 25 miles (40 km) north of Cincinnati, adjacent to the transmitter site of WLW. Beginning in 1944 during World War II it transmitted American radio shows abroad on shortwave frequencies, using 200,000-watt transmitters built by Crosley engineers under the direction of R.J. Rockwell. The site was established to supply ‘alternative’ transmission facilities inland and far from the East Coast, where transmitters were located in Massachusetts, on Long Island in New York, and in New Jersey, all near the ocean, subject to assault from German submarines or other invading forces. Butler County Ohio Information.
Programming stemmed from studios in New York till 1954, when VOA head office transferred to Washington.
The station operated until 1994. The facility took its name from the Liberty Township neighborhood of Bethany, which was about 2 miles north of the center.
|Location||8070 Tylersville Road
West Chester, Ohio
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|NRHP reference #||06001081|
|Added to NRHP||November 28, 2006|
In 1943, the United States government bought nearly all of Section 12 of Township 3, Range 2 of the Symmes Purchase, the northeasternmost area of Union Township. From Hazel Beckley, 170 acres (688,000 m ² )were bought; from Philip Condon, 143 acres (579,000 m ²); from Lola Gray Coy, 100 acres (405,000 m ²); from John Miller, 69 acres (279,000 m ²); and from Suzie Steinman, 142 acres (575,000 m ²). The site was chosen for its elevation and its shallow bedrock and is today bounded by Tylersville Road on the south, Cox Road to the west, Liberty Way to the north, and Butler-Warren Road.
The transmitters were built by Powel Crosley Jr.’s Crosley Broadcasting Corporation about one mile west of the business’s tower for WLW-AM in Mason. The Crosley Broadcasting Corporation ran the center for the federal government till November 1963, when the Voice of America assumed direct control.
At its peak the center had 6 transmitters broadcasting with 250 kW and 2 sending with 50 kW.
The facility was closed on November 14, 1994; because of changing innovations, the transmissions shifted to satellites. The towers were lowered from December 1997 to February 1998.