Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico
Fuller Lodge, while a little less than 100 years old, has served many different purposes as the center of the atomic city.
Fuller Lodge was constructed in 1928 for the
Los Alamos Ranch School, a private school for boys with an emphasis on outdoor skills. The lodge, named after a staff member, held the school’s dining hall, staff and guest quarters, and the infirmary.
The lodge was acquired in 1943 when the federal government purchased the Ranch School for the purpose of using the site for the Manhattan Project. During the project, Fuller Lodge was transformed into a dining hall for scientists working on the project. Dozens of scientists also stayed at the lodge during their time working on the project. The school’s Fuller Lodge and Big House often hosted gatherings and social events where current and future Noble prize recipients had cocktails and talked science.
After the war, Fuller Lodge was expanded with additional wings and served as a Tudor style hotel for several years. In 1968, the lodge was sold to Los Alamos County for just $1, with the stipulation that it had to be used as a community meeting center.
The lodge has remained a community center ever since and is used for conferences, concerts, and weddings. There is also a gallery inside that often plays host to works from local artists. The Guest Cottage, adjacent to the lodge, is now a museum dedicated to the Manhattan Project and the history of Los Alamos.