Nearing 80, KRKD's Twin Towers Still a Landmark
Stunt man J.D. Pate stands atop the wire stretched between KRKD's twin 200-foot-tall antenna towers on the Spring Arcade Building.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — On January 29, 1932, stuntman J.D. Pate attempted to inaugurate KRKD's new transmitter atop Downtown's Spring Arcade building in a most impressive fashion, swinging out onto the antenna wire stretched between the 200-foot-tall towers.
As the Goodyear blimp Volunteer hovered overhead, Pate gingerly felt his way onto the cable, stretched 390 feet above the ground.
Nearly 80 years later, the twin towers still stand in the Historic Core, though few Downtown residents are likely to be familiar with the call letters they carry.
KRKD came to life in 1932 as the former KMIC (operating on "1150 kilocycles") relocated its transmitter and studios from Inglewood to Downtown L.A.
While the call letters have lasted 80 years, the towers were only in use for a few years. According to L.A. radio historian Jim Hilliker, the station moved to KFSG's transmitter atop Angelus Temple in 1937, and then opened a new studio and transmitter in Montecito Heights in 1948.