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Manhattan Project Sites News - June/July 2018

Manhattan Project Sites News - June/July 2018

AMSE sign

Changes are underway at Manhattan Project sites. In Oak Ridge, the popular American Museum of Science and Energy will close its South Tulane Avenue location later this month, with plans to reopen in its new location on Main Street this fall. The current building is about 54,000 square feet and attracts about 65,000 visitors per year. The new location will be about 18,000 square feet.

According to Oak Ridge Today, “There will be four major categories featured in the museum, [manager of the DOE Oak Ridge Office Ken] Tarcza said: energy leadership, 'big science,' national security, and environmental restoration. Many of the exhibits at the current AMSE need to be refreshed, and the majority of the exhibits at the new location will have a brand-new design, Tarcza said." For more about the move, please see AMSE: Current museum could close this month, with new home open this fall. Julia Bussinger has also been named the new director of AMSE. Dr. Bussinger holds a doctorate in conservation and was most recently the executive director of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs, California.

On Friday, July 13, a program on secrecy, security, and spies was presented by the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The program took place at the Turnpike Gatehouse in west Oak Ridge. For more, please see the Oak Ridge Today article Learn about secrecy, security, spies during Manhattan Project.

Los Alamos ScienceFest (July 11-15) included a variety of events and speakers on science and the history of the Manhattan Project and Los Alamos. There was a free showing of the documentary "The Half Life of Genius: Physicist Raemer Schreiber" at the Reel Deal Theater on July 14. The documentary focuses on Raemer Schreiber, his contributions to the Manhattan Project, and 20th century physics.

As part of ScienceFest, public tours allowed visitors access to three Manhattan Project sites – Pond Cabin, Battleship Bunker, and the Slotin Building – that are on property managed by the Department of Energy. For more about sites and the tours, please visit Manhattan Project sites to be opened for tours during ScienceFest.

At Los Alamos, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park offered Ranger Programs at the visitor center every Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM from June 23 through July 22. According to the press release, “These programs will provide visitors an opportunity to understand and connect with the story of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. The Ranger Programs will incorporate the big picture of how the Project Y lab and community fit in with the complex events of World War II.” Josh Nelson, the Los Alamos unit’s on-site ranger, led the program along with volunteers.

Thom Mason has been named the director designate of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and president of Triad National Security, which has been awarded LANL’s contract. Mason previously served as the director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). AHF’s Cindy Kelly recently interviewed Dr. Mason about Oak Ridge’s legacy of innovation and ORNL today. The interview is now available on the “Voices of the Manhattan Project” website.

The Bruggemann Warehouse at Hanford, WA, has been selected as one of Washington State’s five most endangered places. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation develops its annual list based on a site’s historical significance and the urgency of the threat to it.

The warehouse was used by the Bruggemann family for their farm before they were forced to leave their land in 1943, when the Manhattan Project requisitioned the area. Today, you can visit the warehouse as part of the pre-Manhattan Project historic sites tours.