Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WLW Radio: 8 Decades of Addresses

A few days ago someone asked me to list the addresses the WLW radio studios have occupied over the years. Here's the list:

WLW's predecessor, Powel Crosley's 20-watt amateur station, was set up in Crosley's Davey Street home in College Hill, left. The first official WLW broadcast, at 50 watts, came from 1625 Blue Rock Street. The odd, wedge-shaped building is still there. I'll include a photo of the inside of that first studio in a later post.

In 1925, WLW and the Crosley Manufacturing Company moved to a complex at the corner of Colerain and Alfred Streets. The building was built into a hillside and used both 3401 Colerain and 200 Alfred Street as addresses. The broadcast studio and other Crosley operations outgrew these quarters, and in 1928 they moved into the new, special-built 8-story Crosley building at 1321 Arlington Street, just two blocks off Spring Grove Avenue in one of the most heavily industrialized areas of Cincinnati. The studios of WLW and WSAI occupied the entire 8th floor.

WLW remained here until World War II. The Crosley Corporation was doing war production work (including manufacturing the Top Secret proximity fuze), and Federal officials felt that having "radio people" going in and out of the Crosley building at all hours of the day and night was a security risk. So the company bought the Elks Lodge at the corner of Ninth and Elm Streets in downtown Cincinnati and moved WLW into new studios there (WSAI had by this time been sold, by government fiat). Not long after, WLW-TV was set up in its own building across Elm Street.

WLW Radio remained in the building until 1999, when it moved to 1111 St. Gregory Street in Mt. Adams, a part of Cincinnati known for its steep streets and bohemian residents. Early in the new century the station moved to its present location in the northeast Cincinnati suburb of Kenwood, perched on a hill overlooking I-71 descending into the city.


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