Brewer Opposes 5G Towers Planned for Upper West Side

brewer opposes 5g towers

Five gigantic 5G towers may soon be coming to the Upper West Side, but not if Council Member Gale Brewer has anything to say about it.

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Brewer has sent letters in opposition to the five proposed towers to both the Deputy Commissioner of the State Historic Preservation Office, Daniel Mackay, and the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation. The former letter was sent on June 17.

“I am deeply concerned about the potential negative impacts that these structures may have on our historic neighborhood,” Brewer wrote in the June 17 letter. “The installation of towering cellular infrastructure within these districts contradicts the fundamental purpose of preserving their historical integrity and beauty.”

The NYC Office of Technology and Innovation is working with the private company CityBridge on the installations. The planned locations for the Upper West Side’s five towers are clustered in two main areas and are as follows:

  • 741 Columbus Avenue (at W. 97th St.)
  • 715 Columbus Avenue (at W. 96th)
  • 1880 Broadway (between W. 61st and W. 62nd)
  • 1886 Broadway (at W. 63rd)
  • 1900 Broadway (near W. 64th)

More than 150 32-foot 5G towers already dot the city, but most are in the outer boroughs with a few on the east side of Lower Manhattan. The towers sit on top of and power the kiosks that provide Wi-Fi, USB charging and phone service to citizens who need it. The first 5G tower in NYC went up in Long Island City in 2022. A New York Times report says more than 2,000 additional towers are planned for the city.

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“It is imperative we address our community’s concerns and explore all possible avenues to prevent the permanent installation of these unsightly and inappropriate towers,” Brewer continued in her letter. “Our goal should always be to find a balance between the evolving needs of the city and the imperative of preserving the unique character of our neighborhoods.”

“I urge SHPO to take immediate action and end all plans for installation on the Upper West Side.”

Brewer also added that she has not seen any data supporting a need for expanded wireless and cellular services in her district.

Not all local leaders oppose the massive structures. Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Representative Jerry Nadler have supported the installations, according to the NYT.

In early 2024, only one of 18 originally proposed towers was approved for the Upper East Side thanks to a ruling by the Historic Preservation Office.

All existing and proposed 5G towers in New York City can be viewed here.


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