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Above is a view of the newly constructed transmitting station in Elysian Park in 1931. After many months of field testing by LAPD and the contractor, Electric Lighting Supply Company, the hilltop in Elysian Park , southeast of today's Dodger Stadium, was selected as the transmitter location.

Not visible in this photo is the original transmitting antenna, a horizontal "Zepp," strung between two 90-foot wooden masts. In 1938 a 137-foot vertical tower replaced the Zepp, in a somewhat successful effort to improve coverage to outlying areas such as San Pedro, West Los Angeles, and the San Fernando Valley.

Below, still working after all these years...

The same building, expanded and modified, continues to operate around the clock as it has for more than seven decades.


Two dispatchers inside the Elysian Park radio shack. These officers would rebroadcast calls that had been originally transmitted by the dispatchers at the City Hall.


This view shows the front of the 500-watt water-cooled deForest transmitter. The cooling was accomplished by means of a water-filled radiator behind the transmitter, with a large fan blowing the cooled air on the HOT vacuum tubes.

The small sign above the clock says "Visitors Limited to 15 Minutes." Also note the "KGPL" call-letters etched into the center glass section; "deForest" is on the two adjacent panes....


In 1942 a new 500-watt RCA model 10M was installed as the primary transmitter, and the DeForest became a back-up machine. Power was increased to 1,000 watts in January, 1947 under an STA (Special Temporary Authorization) from the FCC. In the early 1950s, time finally caught up with the venerable DeForest transmitter. A new 2,000-watt Gates unit became the main broadcast radio, and the RCA was kept as the stand-by. The fate of the DeForest is unknown.

The KGPL Transmitter Site Today
Access and photography permission courtesy of City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency,

"Don't get too Close!"


Click on the signs to read them


Housing transmitters for a number of frequencies from VHF-low band thru microwave ranges, Elysian Park is now just one of nearly two dozen interconnected sites throughout the city, serving a number of city agencies in addition to the Police Department.

The current radio tower bristles with a variety of antennas. If you look closely, you can see the earlier tower still standing inside the new one.

Gates, fences, alarms and other security devices discourage visitors - or troublemakers - from getting too close.

This is a GPS-based sensor installed by the Southern California Earthquake Center to measure subtle earth movement before, during and after earthquakes

Back to the 1946 Radio Demonstration Page


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