The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee (HM24HN)

Location: Oak Ridge, TN 37830 Anderson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 0.741', W 84° 15.478'

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Transformation of Municipal Services

In 1948, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) assigned the task of transforming the "Secret City" into an incorporated city to Frederick W. "Fred" Ford, the AEC's new Community Affairs Director. In addition to managing the city's day-to-day operations, Fred was responsible for the "steps involved in the eventual transfer of Oak Ridge from a government-owned to a normal, self-governed municipality". To develop a Master Plan he contracted with the Corps of Engineers, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Over the next 12 years, he and his staff sponsored 48 consulting contracts for planning the various municipal services and functions of the future city. In 1948, the utility departments initiated programs to annually upgrade the wartime electrical, water, and sewer systems. Street lighting, automatic fire-alarm circuits, and sprinkler systems for major buildings were installed. Gas and heating oil were brought in to eliminate the sooty, soft-coal inversion layers that hung over the town on winter mornings. Despite some protests from renters, water and electric meters were installed in each home. Perhaps most welcome to residents tired of all the mud, were the annual improvements of paving and widening the streets and roads, and adding curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. The first new

road project, in 1950, called for by the Master Plan was Lafayette Drive, a divided highway linking the Turnpike and Kerr Hollow Road. The second was South Illinois Avenue connecting the Turnpike to Scarboro Road. The third and fourth were new Tulane and Rutgers Avenues. In 1958, the AEC completed its last building project - the Municipal Building, to house all new city departments. These farsighted actions spanning 13 years provided the municipal services that together with new housing, schools, and the hospital, paved the way for the new City of Oak Ridge.

This fourth marker was produced, in part, with funding from the City of Oak Ridge and the Preserve American Grant Program, National Park Service.
HM NumberHM24HN
Placed ByThe City of Oak Ridge and The National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 at 7:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 747123 N 3988796
Decimal Degrees36.01235000, -84.25796667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 0.741', W 84° 15.478'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 0' 44.46" N, 84° 15' 28.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)615, 865
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 200 S Tulane Ave, Oak Ridge TN 37830, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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