National Atomic Museum
Some Albuquerqueans have bemoaned the 69-foot-tall Redstone missile in front of this museum (1905 Mountain Rd. NW, 505/245-2137, www.atomicmuseum.com, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $5) as an eyesore, but it’s a handy landmark for out of towners. And it will likely be gone by the time you read this, as the museum was slated to move to a new building in spring 2009 (and get a new name, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History).
In either location, you’ll find everything you wanted to know about atomic energy, and probably a lot more, split between nuclear physics’ use in daily life and a thorough recounting of the development and use of the atomic bomb, from the first tests at the Trinity Site to its use in Japan to later incidents such as the loss of several warheads over Palomares, Spain, in 1966.
The amount of information can feel a bit crushing, but the displays are interspersed with Cold War–era comic books and other cultural artifacts—just enough colorful detail to entertain the nonscience oriented while others bone up on nuclear history.
The new location is on Eubank Boulevard, at Southern Boulevard—due east of the airport, and one block south of Central.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition