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Big news on giant 5G towers: West Village sites can’t be near landmarks

BY ZACK WINESTINE | Step off, jumbo 5G towers!

The New York State Historic Preservation Office, the agency currently conducting a Section 106 reviews of the installation of LinkNYC 5G towers, has now asked that all three of the pending towers in the West Village — 100 Horatio St., 100 Jane St. and 771 Greenwich St. — be moved to different locations.

SHPO had previously asked that the 445 West St. tower — next to Westbeth Artists Housing — be moved to a different site.

The state agency states it doesn’t want these cellular towers at their present locations because they are in or across the street from landmarked historic districts and individual landmarked buildings, implying that any new locations would have to be substantially farther away from historic district boundaries.

Opponents who have been battling the planned West Village towers are hailing it as a big win and are “grateful to SHPO for protecting our historic districts and landmarks.”

The city has contracted with the private company Boldyn Networks to install 2,000 of the futuristic-looking, three-story structures citywide. Boldyn now has the option of trying to override SHPO’s recommendations by appealing to the Federal Communications Commission. There is reason to believe this will not happen. But, if Boldyn does appeal, it can be sure that opponents will continue to fight it every step of the way.

Local groups, such as Save Gansevoort and Village Preservation, that have been involved in monitoring the tower sites were notified by the F.C.C. last Friday about the latest developments in the Section 106 reviews of the local towers.


  1. Kris Kris January 2, 2024

    Free internet is available all over the city. This is for ads, and the resultant income. Follow the money.

  2. Steve Steve January 1, 2024

    They could accomplish this without such hideous towers.

  3. K K January 1, 2024

    As someone who values preservation, it was too easy for me to assume at face value that the towers were just to cushion current 5G users and boost sales (which made critiques on their presentation even more reasonable). I didn’t realize they were put in these locations to serve people who don’t normally have access to Wi-Fi, if I’m not missing some caveat in this new knowledge (which is possible). Either way, I still wonder about the reasoning behind the design.

    • zw zw January 2, 2024

      The primary purpose of these towers to provide multiple bays for 5G millimeter-wave cellular transmitters – that’s the reason they are so huge. The Wi-Fi service is ancillary. There’s no need for a 3-story-tall tower just to provide Wi-Fi; the much smaller old-style 9′-tall LinkNYC kiosks that you see around town are designed for Wi-Fi service (though these old-style kiosks have large illuminated advertising screens as well).

  4. Steven Hill Steven Hill January 1, 2024

    It’s free internet for low-income or anyone… Encourage, do not discourage.

    • zw zw January 2, 2024

      See my comment above. The Wi-Fi service these towers provide is ancillary to their primary purpose, which is to house 5G cellular antennas. There’s no need for giant towers if the purpose is just to provide Wi-Fi service (witness the much smaller old-style LinkNYC kiosks which are designed to provide free Wi-Fi and are a fraction of the size of these 5G towers – though note that the old-style kiosks also contain large illuminated advertising screens).

  5. Jay Crockett Jay Crockett December 30, 2023

    YAY. Fantastic news!!!

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