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In John Hopkins’ tribute to Bev Agnew in Tuesday’s Los Alamos Monitor, he mentioned her contributions to the community during the time she and Harold made their home in Los Alamos.
There was one contribution, which for the past 44 years has made everyone’s life in Los Alamos better and happier.
In 1966, Fuller Lodge, which had been operated by the Atomic Energy Commission as an inn and restaurant, closed down and was replaced by the privately operated Los Alamos Inn across Trinity Drive.
A decision then had to be made regarding the future of Fuller Lodge, an elderly but historic building.
The AEC solicited suggestions from the public and formed a committee headed by Bev Agnew to sift through the many proposals received.
She spearheaded the effort to create a cultural center and made the case for Fuller Lodge to become a home for the artistic and social needs of this scientific enclave.
With Bev’s effective lobbying and the support of the American Association of University Women, which organized an Arts Council to oversee the operation of Fuller Lodge, the AEC entered into a contract in 1967 giving this wonderful building to the county.
It was to be operated for the health, welfare and recreation of its citizens, and in support of this lofty aim the AEC provided $20,000 a year.
Fuller Lodge could easily have been torn down as the Ranch School Big House had been or perhaps given to Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Bev’s charm, persistence and position as wife of the lab director played a huge role in this success story and I always say a little thank you to her, the AAUW (and yes, to the AEC also) when I’m at an event in that very special community gathering place.