LONDON — The BT Tower, a futuristic landmark on the London skyline for 60 years, is to become a hotel, owner BT Group PLC said Wednesday.

The company, formerly known as British Telecom, said it has agreed to sell the tower to U.S. company MCR Hotels for 275 million pounds (about $347 million).

The 581-foot (177-meter) structure, originally called the Post Office Tower, was completed in 1964 and was London’s tallest building until 1980. A further section of aerial rigging brought the total height to 620 feet (189 meters).

The tower was covered in microwave aerials that carried communications across the U.K. and also housed a rotating restaurant with panoramic views across London. The restaurant was closed after a 1971 bombing, claimed both by anarchists and the Irish Republican Army. It never fully reopened to the public, apart from special events and occasional tours.

Technological changes have gradually rendered the tower’s original role in Britain’s telecommunications network obsolete. Its microwave aerials were removed more than a decade ago.

“It’s played a vital role in carrying the nation’s calls, messages and TV signals, but increasingly we’re delivering content and communication via other means,” said Brent Mathews, property director at BT Group. “This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come.”

MCR Hotels owns about 150 hotels, including the New Yorker Hotel and the modernist TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport. The company said it would work with British architect Thomas Heatherwick on the hotel’s design.

However, travelers shouldn’t plan on making reservations just yet. The hotel firm said it will “take a number of years” for BT to move out due to the complex equipment on site.

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