Former Military Observation Tower was incorporated into part of a Cape May hotel.

Fire Control Tower at the Grand Hotel – Cape May, NJ

This former military building, instead of being removed, was integrated into the construction of a hotel building. The bottom floor is currently the staff laundry of the Grand Hotel. One other tower remains in New Jersey.

These towers didn’t actually have gun emplacements – they were used in conjunction with other nearby towers to observe & triangulate the positions of enemy vessels. The towers ranged from 39 to 75 feet high and consisted of concrete walls 1 foot thick.

In order to determine the location of a ‘hostile’ vessel, the coordinates of the lines of sight between 2 different towers were noted & given to the battery commander. The angles were then plotted in relation to the known distance between the two towers to form a triangle (triangulation) to determine the angle & direction of artillery fire.
Construction of these towers took place from 1939 to 1942, with the intention of the buildings having a 20-year lifespan. Quite a few of these buildings remain over 60 years later. 11 stand on the Delaware shore and 2 remain near Cape May, New Jersey.

Info from

Cape May Diamonds and the story behind them here> Cape May Diamonds and the History Behind Them. | The Boardwalk Blog and News (

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