Our History Part 3: Taking to the Airwaves

A skyscraper by DC standards, the Harrington was the ideal location for the city’s first television station and transmission tower. DuMont Corporation’s W3XWT (soon renamed WTTG-TV and now known as Fox Channel 5) set up shop on the upper floors and in 1946 began broadcasting about 20 hours of programming a week. The popular and pioneering Milt Grant Show, a daily dance party featuring local teenagers and a virtual Who’s Who of national stars, was transmitted live from the WTTG studios between 1956 and 1961.

A radio station found a home in the Harrington as well. In 1953 Washington’s “Good Music Station,” WGMS-AM and FM, moved into what a reporter described as “new and more sumptuous quarters” in the hotel. The station offered Washingtonians the finest in classical music, including live concert broadcasts of the Library of Congress chamber series, National Gallery of Art Orchestra, and National Symphony.

WTTG moved to upper Northwest DC in 1962, and WGMS followed in 1965.

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