Nuclear Energy – by Henry Moore
The sculpture is at the site of world’s first nuclear reactor Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1).
The sculpture was dedicated on December 2, 1967, on the 25th anniversary of the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction on the site.
The sculpture is meant to conjure images of both a human skull and a mushroom cloud.
Location: The campus of the University of Chicago, on Ellis Avenue,
between the Max Palevsky West dormitory and the Regenstein Library.
Commissioned by the B.F. Ferguson Monument Fund, to commemorates the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction. It was erected for and dedicated at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the splitting of the atom on the grounds by Enrico Fermi in December 2, 1942. The location commemorates the exact location where the Manhattan Project team devised the first nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction. It was dedicated at precisely 3:36 p.m. on December 2, 1967.
The site was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1965, and a Chicago Landmark in 1971.
The sculpture Nuclear Energy by Henry Moore, is at the site of world’s first nuclear reactor Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1) .
The first self-sustaining nuclear reactor, known as Chicago Pile-1, was constructed in a former squash court measuring 30 by 60 feet underneath the west stands of the old Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. Scientists, including Enrico Fermi, achieved the controlled release of nuclear energy for the first time here on December 2, 1942. Chicago Pile-1 was part of the Manhattan Project, the Allied forces effort to create the atom bomb during World War II, and consisted of 45,000 graphite blocks. It was moved the next year to create Chicago Pile-2, and was dismantled in 1954.
The site is now marked by a sculpture entitled “Nuclear Energy” by Henry Moore. It was dedicated on December 2, 1967, at the 25th anniversary of the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction on the site. The sculpture is meant to conjure images of both a human skull and a mushroom cloud.
The site is one of the four original properties to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places list, on October 15, 1966, which is the day that the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was enacted.
The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places [NRHP] is the United States federal government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation. he National Historic Preservation Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources.It was the most significant and wide-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States. Although listing does not prevent alteration or destruction, it does qualify properties for various grants, loans, and tax incentives and raises public awareness of these properties.
Four properties in Chicago, all located on the South Side, were on the original list of National Historic Landmark.
Frederick C. Robie House / Designated an NHL on November 27, 1963
Site of the First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Reaction / Designated an NHL on February 18, 1965
Hull House / Designated an NHL on June 23, 1965
Lorado Taft’s Midway Studios / Designated an NHL on December 21, 1965.
Site of the First Self-sustaining Controlled Nuclear Chain Reaction
December 2, 1942.
Physicist Enrico Fermi and his colleagues established the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction in makeshift laboratories constructed under the grandstands of Stagg Fild Stadium on December 2, 1942. The success of this experiment urshered in the atomic age, opening tremendous potential to modern science.
Designated a Chicago Landmark on October 27, 1971,
by the City Council of Chicago.
Richard J. Daley, Mayor
Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks.
Left plaque ..
Henry Moore – Sculptor
Dedicated December 2, 1967
The 25th Anniversary of First Controlled Generation of Nuclear Power.
An experiment by Enrico Fermi and his colleagues.
Center top plaque..
Site of First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Reaction
Has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark, under the provision of the Historic Sites Act of August 31, 1935.
This site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating th history of the United States.
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service, 1965.
Center bottom plaque…
The sculpture was provided by the trustees of the B. F. Ferguson Monumnet Fund 1967.
On December 2, 1942.
Man achieved here the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction and thereby initiated the controlled release of nuclear energy.
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