Charles Sackermann, Senior
The late Charles Sackermann Sr., who was in the paging and wireless business, saw great potential in the tower and began leasing space on it. Railroad and tugboat communications were some of the first customers brought to the tower. In the mid-1970s Mr. Sackermann purchased the tower through a partnership with UA-Columbia Cable Television, Inc. forming the Alpine Tower Company. Mr. Sackermann’s Tele-A-Page Communications would lease space on the tower to wireless customers while UA-Columbia used the tower as the hub of a microwave relay network for cable television signals. Fiber optic cable eventually replaced microwave as the preferred means of transporting cable television signals. UA-Columbia eventually became TCI Cable and sold its interest in the facility to Tele-A-Page, which still operates the tower as the Alpine Tower Company.
In 1992 a 6900 square foot communications building was constructed under the tower. Built of concrete block with a concrete roof, it sits directly under the 400-foot tower straddled by the tower legs. Also occupying the site is a two-story brick building built in 1937 just before the construction of the tower. It houses a museum of various radio and electronic test equipment collected over the years. A single story wood frame building and a four-car garage were built in the late 1930s and survive today. The army erected a single story building during WWII as a radar facility. A Quonset hut, guardhouse and open garage from that time also exist.
Today, the tower hosts many forms of communications equipment including cellular, PCS, paging, wireless data, FM broadcasting, two-way voice and point-to-point microwave communications. Operators of these systems lease space on the tower and in the communications building below the structure.
After September 11th 2001, the Alpine Tower assisted in restoring the signals of several New York television stations by installing antennas and transmitters at the facility following the attacks. Five stations broadcasted from the tower for up to nine months after 9/11 until service could be established at the Empire State Building. The tower is now used as an emergency backup facility for four of the TV stations and one New York FM station.