This is a fascinating place to visit that is a tribute to the Y-12 complex. We visited this by taking the AMSE bus tour but I believe that you can drive up to it as a visitor. Please be careful and ask before taking pictures of areas. The Hope Center at the Y-12 complex is a remarkable facility dedicated to public education of the various support that the facility provides for our country. It has several pieces to it: a history center, an overview of the complex, and their current efforts. In the front to the left of the entrance, is a history center describing the past and how Y12 looked prior to its current efforts in national security. It houses a fascinating collection of informational materials and historical artifacts that chronicles Y-12's early missions. Beyond that past the security desk to the right along the wall are displays describing the complex and how it fits into the national efforts. Down the hall are large standup displays that describe the current efforts of Y-12. We had two different tour guides: one for the history center and one for the other two parts. They were both very friendly and informative. The displays are very well done and very informative. I enjoyed this tour very much and recommend it to anyone interested in Y-12 efforts and the history of the area.
Y-12 is open for visitors again - I was there Sept 13, 2022. The portion that is open to the public is just inside the doors of the New Hope Center at Y-12. This place is definitely worth a stop when surveying the history of the Manhattan Project in Oakridge, but if you don’t have time for both, I’d see K-25 instead. Either way, i’s helpful to get an orientation from the park ranger at the NPS visitor center (inside the Oakridge Children’s museum) first. The Google maps instructions are right for finding the New Hope Center - but be aware that you will be staying to the left and continuing straight when you see signs pointing to the right for the entrance to Y-12 (do NOT turn into the gate for the secure Y-12 area; instead continue straight as per the Google maps instructions to get to the ‘New Hope Center’ public visiting area.) The main display area small is small but has a good amount of info. There is a supplemental display area just past the security desk that you can also visit.
Make sure to check out the moon dust!! Quite an interesting location. The Y12 site has a deep history and it’s important to understand the deep impacts (both locally, and globally) the site has had over the years. The center is located within a lobby area- you will need to buzz to be let in to the reception area and you may need to show an identification card if asked. The exhibits will be mostly uninteresting to children.
What a history this place has! This is not your typical tourist spot so don't plan a visit solely to see this place
The New Hope Center has a lot of history and is a great place to visit. I completed my New Hire orientation here and will have to visit many times in the future for my job. Very secure place and very helpful.
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