WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

In 1974, a state-of-the-art radio broadcast facility was constructed in Billings. At the time, this neighborhood was essentially in the country, surrounded by little more than fields of alfalfa, corn, or sugar beets. On a still day, you can hear the quiet rush of the Yellowstone River a few hundred yards from the southern edge of the property.

Credit Michael Foth, TSM
Credit Michael Foth, TSM

Abandoned in Montana.

The early-70s modernist-style structure is located on the outskirts of Billings, behind a locked gate at the end of a narrow driveway. The pavement is cracked and crumbling, with weeds taking over wherever they can grab a toehold. Clearly, this place is rarely visited. We had an opportunity to explore the decrepit property (with permission) and learn more about the history of this structure last week.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

KOOK Radio and Cat Country.

Home to one of the Magic City's most legendary radio station brands (KOOK) and well-known DJs of the time, if you listened to the radio in Billings in the 70s and 80s, you were probably tuned in to one of the frequencies that broadcast from this facility. 97.1 FM, 102.9 FM, and 970 AM featured shows from 'Major' Dan Miller, The Breakfast Flakes, Lonnie Bell, and many others.

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Credit Nikki Vega, used with permission.

Today, most Billings radio station studios are located in non-descript office buildings all over town. Two companies operate from studios on Central Avenue. Another is off 24th and King Ave, and our parent company, Townsquare Media, moved into our current spot on the 23rd floor of the DoubleTree downtown in 1990.

The only clues that indicate a broadcast facility inside most of today's radio stations are a smattering of microwave dishes on their roofs. But back in the day, most radio stations operated near their large AM towers, usually placed in fields on the edge of town. The old KOOK building featured in this story is a prime example.

Vandals have destroyed the once-glorious Billings radio facility.

Despite locked doors and boarded-up windows, vandals have heavily damaged what remains of the former broadcast center. Let's take a look.

Abandoned Montana Radio Station Destroyed by Vandals

Once home to one of Montana's oldest radio stations, the former broadcast studios of KOOK Radio in Billings have fallen into total disrepair.

Gallery Credit: Michael Foth

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