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Bradbury Science Museum

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Improving the understanding of the Manhattan Project and its legacy through interpretation of historic resources.
August 18, 2014
1946 aerial view of Los Alamos

This photo, taken on December 4, 1946, shows the center of Los Alamos as it looked during Project Y years. Called Technical Area 1, it was the core of the original laboratory.

In 1943, the United States government's Manhattan Project built a secret laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, for a single military purpose—to develop the world's first atomic weapons. The success of this unprecedented, top-secret government program forever changed the world.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, the April tours are postponed.

How the Park came to be


Three locations comprise the park:

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park legislation references 17 sites at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as 13 sites in downtown Los Alamos.


The National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Obama, authorized creation of the Park. This legislation stated the purpose of the park: “to improve the understanding of the Manhattan Project and the legacy of the Manhattan Project through interpretation of the historic resources.” On November 10, 2015, a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the Secretary of the interior and the Secretary of the Department of Energy made the park a reality.


The U.S. Congress directed the National Park Service and the Department of Energy to determine the significance, the suitability, and feasibility of including signature facilities in a national historical park.