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Click on photo to enlarge
Photo of the

October 2005

Courtesy WGBH Alumni Association

Disaster strikes WGBH-TV and FM on October 14, 1961
A predawn blaze, on Saturday October 14, destroyed the facilities of Boston's premier 
educational stations, located at 84 Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge, MA.
click here to see to see building in better days,
Newspaper accounts of the day, estimated the loss between 1.5 and 2.5 million dollars.
Photo by Boston Sunday Globe
Television Studio A
Studio A was the presumed origination of the fire.
As seen in this photograph, the studio was a complete loss.
WGBH-FM returned to the air with it's regularly scheduled 
program at 4 pm on Saturday, from it's booth at Symphony Hall.
Channel 2 was back on the air on Monday, from studios made available
from the Boston Catholic Television Center at 25 Granby Street.
MIT offered use of the Kresge Auditorium for the staff to set up
temporary headquarters.
Some of the items recovered from the fire included 200,000 dollar worth of video tapes a well as the complete
audio tape library.  Also saved, the records of thousand of donors who supported WGBH fund raising in the past.
WGBH-TV had a Greyhound Bus that was in the process of being converted into a mobile unit.
The mobile unit was parked outside the studio building and was saved from the devastating fire.
The process was hastened and pressed into service. (click for photo with WBZ-TV staff)
WGBH-TV and WENH-TV (Durham, NH) had an existing bi-directional microwave link  as part of the
Eastern Educational Network  (EEN).  Thereby allowing video tapes to be played in Durham and relayed 
to the Blue Hill transmitter site.  Boston's commercial stations provided studio space, equipment and
technical support.  WHDH-TV channel 5, on Morrisey Blvd, made available their large color studio as well
mobile unit for use by WGBH at off-peak periods.  WBZ-TV and WNAC-TV also provided support.
The Boston Catholic Archdiocese had a complete professional three camera control room/studio located
at 25 Granby Street near Kenmore Square.  The equipment included three RCA TK31 cameras.  This studio
was in operation to provide, among other programs, the Catholic Sunday Mass LIVE  to the commercial
telecasters in the Boston area.  There was an permanent tie-line to the telco C.O, NET&T.  Later WIHS
 would acquire a full power UHF transmitter facility on channel 38, located on the Prudential Building.

For more info on the WGBH fire and aftermath (click here) The WGBH Alumni Association is a wonderful resource. check it out. Photos courtesy WGBH Alumni Association and the Boston Sunday Globe
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