AMSE Demolition

The American Museum of Science and Energy opened in 1949. Oak Ridge was a Secret City during the Manhattan Project and was now showcasing pride in the war effort, the wonder of the Atomic bomb and the brilliant future of the “Atoms for Peace” worked on in the three plants. In 1975 it moved into its own bold Brutalist building, a statement made by a city full of confidence in scientific progress, its role in the Cold War and its civic growth. Recently AMSE had turned into a Sleeping Beauty, a little dusty, a little neglected. It was also full of dedicated volunteers, quirky details, history not only in the stories and objects but also in the changing presentation styles themselves. Lots of room, lots of wall space, a WWII flat top house, a Victory Garden, and a big auditorium that hosted community events. AMSE has moved into a sad strip mall. The old building was demolished in the summer of 2020, to me a loss of public space, a loss of vision, a capitulation to small minds.

























AMSE Demolition