Note: This post was last updated at 8:05 a.m. Nov. 13.
Oak Ridge residents and officials celebrated the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park on Thursday, two days after the park was formally established in a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. Here are photos of Thursday’s celebration at Oak Ridge High School and Jackson Square by John Huotari of Oak Ridge Today.
We will add captions to the photos as we can.
The new park includes Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project was a top-secret program to build the world’s first atomic weapons in World War II, before Germany could. The new park is the first of its type to commemorate the Manhattan Project, which is considered one of the top scientific achievements of the 20th century.
The new park includes four buildings in Oak Ridge: the Graphite Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the footprint of the former K-25 Building at East Tennessee Technology Park, and Building 9731 and Building 9204-3, or Beta-3, at Y-12 National Security Complex. The Alexander Inn, which is not a U.S. Department of Energy building, is also eligible for inclusion.
Note: This story was last updated at 8:20 a.m. Nov. 13.
Federal officials established the new national park that includes Oak Ridge on Tuesday. Oak Ridge residents celebrated on Thursday.
The new park, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, commemorates the Manhattan Project. That was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II, before Germany could.
Oak Ridge was the main production site for the Manhattan Project, and uranium enriched at the Y-12 National Security Complex fueled the first atomic bomb used in wartime. It was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, shortly before the war ended. [Read more…]
Reminder: Two events in Oak Ridge on Thursday will celebrate the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
The park was formally established in a federal signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, November 10. That signing followed more than a decade of work by historic preservation groups, local leaders and governments, and federal officials and federal legislators representing communities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington.
The Manhattan Project, which included the city that became Oak Ridge, was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs during World War II. It is considered one of the top scientific achievements of the 20th century, and it credited with helping to end the war. The new park, the nation’s 409th, is the first of its type to commemorate the Manhattan Project. [Read more…]
Public bus tours will be offered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex on Thursday, November 12, as part of the celebration of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The new park, which is still being set up, includes Oak Ridge.
The special-access tours at ORNL and Y-12 are part of other planned activities in Oak Ridge, and they will include a peek inside Y-12’s Building 9731 and 9204-3 (Beta 3) and ORNL’s historic Graphite Reactor.
Y-12 and Clinton Laboratories—the wartime name for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory—were constructed as part of the Manhattan Project in 1943. The Y-12 Plant provided the Uranium-235 needed for Little Boy, the world’s first nuclear weapon used in warfare. The historic Graphite Reactor at X-10 (now ORNL) proved that plutonium could be produced in a uranium reactor on an industrial scale. These facilities will eventually become a part of the Oak Ridge location of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. [Read more…]
Oak Ridge will have two community events on November 12 to celebrate the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. That proposal has been in the works for years to commemorate the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II.
The legislation authorizing the park was signed into law in December 2014, and it designated sites in Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington as a new three-site national park.
The Oak Ridge City Council has designated the week of November 9-15 as
“The Manhattan Project National Historical Park Week.”
Events have been scheduled at Oak Ridge High School and in Historic Jackson Square on Thursday, November 12, two days after a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. The two Oak Ridge events will celebrate the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. [Read more…]
The new interactive fountain at Jackson Square was operating on Monday. It’s part of a $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot. The work was mostly funded with a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant.
Construction started in January and, according to the most recent publicly announced schedule, was expected to be substantially complete by September 15.
The renovation includes a reconfigured parking lot, landscaped pedestrian plaza with parking, the interactive fountain, stone pavers, curbing, asphalt paving, utilities, new lights, benches, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act.
It’s the first major renovation at Jackson Square, the city’s original town center, in 70 years. The $741,609 TDOT Enhancement Grant was awarded to the city in June 2012.
There had been some concerns this summer among business owners, city officials, and residents about delays in the project. But the frustrations seemed to ease, at least publicly, after the fountain arrived in August.
The work appeared to be mostly done on Monday, September 28. Here are photos from Jackson Square on Monday.
The $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot continued Thursday, with the goal of finishing the project in time for Taste of Anderson County on Saturday.
Construction started in January on what has turned into one of the most closely watched projects in Oak Ridge. Work is funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work, and it requires a 20 percent city match.
The work is reported to be the first major renovation at Jackson Square in 70 years. It includes a landscaped pedestrian plaza with parking, an interactive fountain, stone pavers, curbing, asphalt paving, utilities, benches, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act. [Read more…]
Work continued at the Jackson Square parking lot this week as merchants, organizers, and the city prepare for Taste of Anderson County on Saturday.
The substantial completion date for the parking lot work was expected to be Tuesday, September 15, and the goal is to have the project done in time for Taste of Anderson County.
The annual outdoor festival features food and music. It’s scheduled from 4-9 p.m. Saturday, September 19, in the Jackson Square parking lot. This year, there will be music, more than 20 different restaurant vendors, and a bar stocked with beer, wine, and moonshine cocktails and wings, organizers said.
Taste of Anderson County will benefit two local causes: United Way of Anderson County and the Free Medical Clinic. [Read more…]
The Taste of Anderson County on September 19 will feature food and music and help two local organizations: United Way of Anderson County and the Free Medical Clinic.
The Taste of Anderson County, which has been expanded from the previous Taste of Oak Ridge, will be at Jackson Square starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, September 19.
“Flavors from some of the area’s favorite restaurants and the sounds of local musicians will fill the newly renovated parking lot at Jackson Square,” a press release said. “This year will be bigger and better than ever with vendors from all over the county. More importantly, this event brings a substantial amount of support for two local causes: United Way of Anderson County, and the Free Medical Clinic. Both of these nonprofits are working hard this year to make a big impact in the community. But they can’t do it without the community there to support them.”
The entertainment lineup includes comedian and magician Danny Whitson as the master of ceremonies. Whitson is a professional entertainer from Oak Ridge who specializes in magic and comedy. He has been performing for 15 years, the press release said. [Read more…]
Note: This story was updated at 4 p.m.
The interactive water fountain has arrived at Jackson Square. It’s a central component in the $1 million renovation of the shopping center’s parking lot.
The fountain components that arrived on a semi truck early Thursday afternoon were a large vault, which is the fountain’s operating system, and a collection tank. Spray pods that will go around the fountain were already here.
The entire fountain, which was custom-built by Roman Fountains of New Mexico, is now on site, said Angel Rich, president of Rich Construction Inc. of Lenoir City. The parking lot renovation, which is mostly funded with a state grant and includes the fountain, is expected to be substantially complete by September 15. That would be in time for the Taste of Anderson County on September 19 at Jackson Square.
Rich said the next steps are to dig a hole for the fountain and install it, run electrical and water lines to it, and tie it into the city’s sewer system. [Read more…]
One merchant said he’s lost more than $100,000 in sales. Another said she had to close her business. And a third has posted signs that express frustration with the pace of construction at Jackson Square.
At one time, there was hope that the $1 million parking lot renovation at Jackson Square would be complete by the Lavender Festival in mid-June. But that didn’t happen. Now, the latest construction schedule estimates that it will be “substantially complete” by September 15—in time for Taste of Anderson County—but not finished until the end of October.
Officials have said the primary delay has been with the interactive fountain that will be installed in the center of Jackson Square. It still hasn’t arrived, and officials have said it could take four weeks to install. On Monday, the contractor and her attorney said the fountain could arrive in Oak Ridge on Wednesday.
Even business owners who had an optimistic outlook earlier have lost their patience with the project, which is mostly funded with a state grant. Their primary frustrations: The work has taken much longer than expected, the schedule keeps getting extended, and there have been too many days when, they say, they’ve seen no signs of work. In the meantime, the parking lot in front of their stores was closed for months, and they believe that the construction fencing and orange barrels drove away some potential customers.
“Why can’t they finish this?” asked Jonathan Goldstein of The String Workshop.
“We’ve been nice long enough,” said Dean Russell, owner of Dean’s Restaurant and Bakery.
“I think our frustration is how many days we’ve seen nothing happening as our customer base declines,” said Steve Seivers, who has a law practice in the square, the city’s original town center.
On Monday, the Oak Ridge City Council joined the chorus of frustration. [Read more…]