Los Alamos, New Mexico
Features & Highlights
- Constructed a secret community in remote northern New Mexico in one year
The U.S. government contacted Sundt on Dec. 1, 1942, looking for a contractor that could construct a confidential community in northern New Mexico. The project was so confidential that it was labeled Job 444 in company records. Sundt was given a year to build a lab technical area, test site, 332 apartments, 12 civilian dormitories, 12 military barracks, an administration building, warehouses, service and mess facilities, medical and veterinary hospitals and schools.
Conditions were rough in this remote area, and construction workers had to start from scratch in a mountainous and snowy area. No roads led to the site, so workers had to build roads as they brought in construction materials. A permanent worker camp was set up for the 3,000 men working on the project. To complete the project in time and support the war effort, the men worked 14- to 16-hour days and seven days a week. Sundt did not learn the purpose of this secret city until 18 months after they finished the project.