Presidential Emergency Facility Site 4 -"Cartwheel"


Ft Reno Park, Tenleytown, northwest Washington, DC 

Ft Reno Park (site of Cartwheel (PEF)
Elevation
 409 feet
Location
Location
 Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, DC
Range

Coordinates
 N 38.95198 and W 77.075922
Fort Reno Park is a park in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, DC. It is the highest point in the city, and was involved in the only Civil War battle to take place in the District of Columbia Fort Reno Park is also the site of a deactivated microwave terminal station, that was used during the Cold War. The unit was encased in a 103 ft. tower, and known as the "Cartwheel" site 4. 
Tower History and Purpose                                                       

Cartwheel (Ft Reno Park, Washington, DC.), had a Tower with nine floors plus two levels of Plexiglas to cover microwave dishes and other antennas.  The Tower was mostly above ground level; but it also had a two level bunker that circled the towers base. Construction of Cartwheel tower and bunker was completed in 1961.

A WHCA operated switchboard, a secure switchboard and communications center was located within the bunker.  Cartwheel had microwave routes to Cactus (via Damascus), Crystal, Corkscrew and Crown.

This facility was part of a microwave network designed to provide communications to the President of the United States and emergency communications in the event of a nuclear attack. The Microwave route connected Camp David and other key bodies of government directly to the White House.  

Construction Photo's of the Cartwheel Site, at Ft Reno Park in Washington, DC (1961)

Construction of the Cartwheel Site, at Ft Reno Park in Washington, DC (1961) 
Construction Photo's of the Cartwheel Site, at Ft Reno Park in Washington, DC (1961)
Main Entrance into the Tower (1961) 
Construction Photo's of the Cartwheel Site, at Ft Reno Park in Washington, DC (1961) 
 Stairs at the Main Entrance into Cartwheel
Working on the elevator
Pie shaped room on the lower level
Google Earth view of Cartwheel (2010)
Cross Section View of Tower 

                                                                                                         

5 comments:

  1. That's not how I remember the floors in the tower. My office was on level 3 or 4 during my tour with the agency.

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    1. The video equipment at Cartwheel was on the 3rd floor and Larry Jensen was the video man at Cartwheel. The equipment was removed in the early seventies when the majority of the microwave towers were decommissioned. I can only assume that the 3rd Floor was re-configured into office space at that time.

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  2. In 1971-72 3rd floor was where supply was located, and all the floors were suspended from the ceiling as shock mounts.

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  3. John, do you knoow where Larry Jensen is located now? Last I knew he married Cindy and they lived near Baltimore. I hung around with Larry, Bear, Steve Selland and Tony Martin, Tony was my roommate. Last I heard of Steve he had moved all up and down the mid-west and was living in Oklahoma. Tony married Sue and she passed away in 2000 from Cancer and I lost track of Tony. Don't know what happened to Bear, with his reputation he probably got shot somewhere, going out a window.

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    Replies
    1. I am in contact with Tony, if you e-mail or send your contact information to me I will be glad to forward it to Tony. I do non know any of the individuals that you mentioned; however I do talk to Roger Jones.

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