The site commemorates not only the leader of an achievement that demanded the wisdom of forbearance from mankind but also the personal qualities he exemplified: breadth of intellect, integrity of purpose, humility in a time of glory, grace in the face of adversity, and a profound awareness of the implications of atomic weapons.
Today, if J. Robert Oppenheimer could walk into the modest cottage on Bathtub Row where he and his family lived during World War II, he would recognize it immediately. This jewel of the Manhattan Project properties has been well cared for by subsequent owners, who recognized the importance of the history that took place there.
Helene and Jerry Suydam generously donated the house to the Los Alamos Historical Society. Now it is our duty to ensure that the house does not deteriorate but receives the attention it needs in order to preserve it in perpetuity.
The Oppenheimer House Fund was established by Roger Waterman and Emily McGay. It will support the urgent infrastructure needs of the house, including electrical upgrades, code and accessibility improvements, repair and rehabilitation, hazardous materials abatement, and a fire protection system. After these updates are complete, funds will support the development of innovative exhibits and ongoing maintenance.
The Oppenheimer House is destined to become a focal point for the Society in fulfilling its mission. Please join us in opening this house to the public.
"Almost everyone knew that this job, if it were achieved, would be part of history, This sense of excitement, of devotion, and of patriotism, in the end, prevailed." - J. Robert Oppenheimer
1942 photo of what is now known as the Oppenheimer House. Smith Collection, Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives.
Oppenheimer (right) at a party in the home in 1946. Photo by J. J. (Mike) Michnovicz. Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives.
360-degree view of the Oppenheimer House living room in spring 2021. Click and drag to explore the space! Photo courtesy Jonathan Creel / Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Los Alamos Historical Society preserves, promotes, and communicates the remarkable history and inspiring stories of Los Alamos and its people for our community, for the global audience, and for future generations.