A year later, the finished product.

History | A New Beginning

Looking east down West Morehead Street toward the city, in early 1954. In a suburban patch of woods (center, foreground), grading had begun for Jefferson Standard Broadcasting's grand new quarters. It was getting a bit crowded at the Wilder Building, so ambitious plans were developed for a state of the art broadcast center elsewhere. Persuading the parent company, a conservative insurance company, to finance such an undertaking was one of Crutchfield's finest achievements. Under different management, WBT and WBTV might have stayed in the cramped Wilder Building quarters for who knows how many more years.

The little path running horizontally in the extreme foreground would soon be named Julian Price Place, after one of the founders of Jefferson Standard Insurance Co., of which the broadcasting company was a subsidiary. Search all you want, you'll find not one interstate highway, NFL stadium or Toyota dealership in this photo. Compare this 1954 skyline with this one about 30 years later.

A few weeks earlier, these officials gathered in a chilly drizzle to break ground on what was affectionally called "Fulfillment Hill."

From left: J. Norman Pease, architect; Joseph Bryan, president JSBC; Thomas Howard, VP-Engineering; Charles Crutchfield, Executive VP-General Manager; Ken Tredwell, VP-Managing Director WBTV; Robert Covington, VP-Research & Promotion; unidentified.

And by June 24, 1954 the steel framing had progressed to this point.

Photos courtesy Nat Tucker