|Creative re-use of a water tower as a mount for cellular antenna on Fairmount Ave. between 4th St. and 5th St. in North Philadelphia. February 2012.|
The use of existing structures such as water towers and smokestacks as high-points to mount cellular antenna is common in Philadelphia. The post-industrial urban landscape is littered with sites such as the above one, a boarded up factory site advertizing its current tenant the 'Trans-Atlantic Co.' which according to their website is an importer of security and shelving equipment. Even if the water tower is still in use, which is unlikely, the Trans-Atlantic Company apparently has no need for windows, having boarded up and painted bright blue every window in the building. What was likely a factory with natural lighting through these now-boarded windows has turned into a warehouse where windows are not needed, the lighting provided by electricity.
The building now provides a high point from which the ethereal, wireless connectivity is broadcast throughout the neighborhood, but, seen in the photograph below, the building's presence on the street is closed off, a canvas for a lovelorn graffiti artist to bemoan his or her love, apparently named Snicks, leaving Philadelphia. This site provides an example of b how the ubiquity of wireless communication is actually produced. Those signal bars on the iPhone come from somewhere, places like the antenna atop this building in North Philadelphia.
|A frontal view of the Trans-Atlantic Company's warehouse, with graffiti atop blue-painted boarded up windows.|