Nuclear Energy is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore that is located on the campus of the University of Chicago at the site of world's first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1. It is on Ellis Avenue, between the Max Palevsky West dormitory and the Regenstein Library. This site is located in the Hyde Park community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The location commemorates the exact location where the Manhattan Project team devised the first nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction under the former stands of Stagg Field. The sculpture was commissioned by the B. F. Ferguson monument fund. It’s a rather strange thing really but I’d already done the idea for this sculpture before Professor McNeill and his colleagues from the University of Chicago came to see me on Sunday morning to tell me about the whole proposition. They told me (which I’d only vaguely known) that Fermi, the Italian nuclear physicist, started or really made the first successful controlled nuclear fission in a temporary building. I think it was a squash court - a wooden building - which from the outside looked entirely unlike where a thing of such an important nature might take place. But this experiment was carried on in secret and it meant that by being successful Man was able to control this huge force for peaceful purposes as well as destructive ones. They came to me to tell me that they thought were such an important event in history took place ought to be marked." Henry Moore. The sculpture was erected for and dedicated at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the splitting of the atom on the grounds by Enrico Fermi on December 2, 1942. Thus, it was dedicated at precisely 3:36 p.m. on December 2, 1967. The site of the first nuclear reaction received designation as a National Historic Landmark on February 18, 1965 and was added to the newly created National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on October 15, 1966.
Location: Ellis Avenue, University of Chicago, Illinois, USA