Monday, September 24, 2007

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge, Tennessee. For the past three years I have had a grand romance, a romance that still makes my heart feel warm when I think about it. It is a romance with the Secret City. This World War II historic town is ever engaging and always interesting. I look for any chance to go there.

This past winter (alright, cold spring) found me exploring what is now the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge. As I climbed guiltily on the colorful playground equipment (fabulous stuff), I hoped no one would mind my quick moment of relieving childhood. I was totally happy and about to come down one of the funky slides when I noticed that a road crew working on the road just in front of me had stopped their noisy tasks and all eyes were upon me. Drat. Sheepishly, I slide down and walked away.

I have to admit I was a little unenthused with the facade of the building until I remembered that it was indeed a historic site. I looked a little closer. This was an original school during the Secret City years. It now manages to retain the style of that time period and yet is inviting as a children's museum.

As I walked the length of the building, at the end I discovered a very catchy outdoor exhibit featuring a model train rail road track and a Norfolk Southern caboose. (Though you can see this anytime, please be check with the museum to see when it is available for actual entry and exploration).

    • Latitude: 36.031956
    • Longitude: -84.267197
    • 461 West Outer Drive, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
    • Built in the 1940s, what is now the Oak Ridge Children's Museum was then the Highland View elementary School. It was the fifth school built in the Secret City. (1)
    • It became the Children's Museum in Oak Ridge in January 1974. (2)

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