Rose Bethe, who came to Los Alamos in 1943 with her husband, future Nobel Prize winner Hans Bethe, explains the challenges of feeding the hundreds of hungry scientists at Los Alamos.
Narrator: With the influx of scientists and project personnel in early 1943, Fuller Lodge was turned into a massive dining hall. Rose Bethe talks about the challenges of feeding the growing number of hungry men.
Rose Bethe: That was accomplished by turning the so-called Fuller Lodge into a dining room for 100 or 200 people. It may have been even more.
The nutritionist for the [Los Alamos Ranch] School stayed on and now was faced suddenly not with growing boys, but with 200, 300, 400 hungry, big men. I think she found it very difficult to adjust portions to feeding this lot. However, she managed, and everybody managed.
Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan explains the significance of Fuller Lodge to the Los Alamos community.
Narrator: After World War II, Fuller Lodge was converted into a hotel. Sold to Los Alamos County in 1968, it now is a keystone of the Los Alamos community.
Heather McClenahan: The wings on the building—there are three wings, the north, the south and the west—those were added after the war, when this became a hotel. It was the only hotel in town. Great stories from many, many people who came here over the years, as they were interviewing for their job at the lab. They would talk about the great steak dinners you could get for a dollar, right here in the Lodge.
In 1968, this building was sold to Los Alamos County for one dollar, with the stipulation that it always remain a community center. And so today, it is just that. We have weddings here, there are all kinds of meetings that go on, dances, parties, there are recitals, and concerts. And it’s just a wonderful, wonderful place.
This is a very beloved building. It is really the heart and soul of Los Alamos, and everybody who is part of the community feels like they own this building.