Sunday, April 13, 2014

End of an era.

As long as we're talking about the (alleged) end of science, look at this picture (courtesy of Don Monroe).  This is demolition work being done in Murray Hill, NJ, as Alcatel-Lucent takes down a big hunk of Building 1 of Bell Labs. 


This building and others at the site were the setting for some of the most important industrial research of the 20th century.  (Before people ask, the particular lab where the transistor was first made is not being torn down here.)  I've written before about the near-demise of long-term basic research in the industrial setting in the US.  While Bell Labs still exists, this, like the demise of the Holmdel site, are painful marks of the end of an era.

4 comments:

Joerg Heber said...

Oh no, that's too sad seeing the building go. But perhaps even sadder that it doesn't come as a surprise. Do you know what the plans for the site are?

Don Monroe said...

They are "only" taking down part of the building (the part to the left in the photograph, which happens to be where my lab and office were for many years). I understand that they plan to leave the backbone of the building (on the right), including the place where the transistor was invented (near the right edge of the picture, although it has been remodeled). An organization called Bell Labs will continue to function in the building (unlike the Holmdel site that Doug mentioned). Sorry for any confusion.

Don Monroe said...

Here is a google view of the facility, with x's over the wings being dismantled, and a pointer to where the picture was taken.

David A. Muller said...

Well, there goes my old office. At least 1E survives. Wonder if the anechoic chambers are still intact behind the auditorium?