Hanford Culture Lives on in Richland’s Alphabet Houses

The Hanford nuclear site rose out of the sagebrush of Richland, Washington, in the 1940s. So did thousands of houses built for Hanford workers. They’re called the Alphabet Houses. Richland correspondent Carol Cizauskas explains from the Alphabet House she calls home.

Nordgren: “They certainly had a velvet glove that they used to stroke the workers, but beneath that, there was a hard-fisted reality. … If you lost your job for whatever reason, you also lost your house, and you had five working days to get out.”
Richard Nordgren is an historian who conducts walking tours of the Alphabet Houses.

 

Alphabet House kitchen

Lorraine and Larry Riggs in the kitchen of their Alphabet House in Richland, Washington.
PHOTO BY CAROL CIZAUSKAS


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Tourist Adds Hanford to Life List

There are so many things to see in the world. Mountains, monuments…and hazardous nuclear energy sites. Tri-Cities correspondent Carol Cizauskas profiles a retired engineer who spends his time and money visiting scientific facilities, including Hanford.

Schaffter: “You know, you think about, well, we’re trying to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. We did this many, many years ago, and we didn’t have computers that Iran has now, that sort of thing, and it’s kind of interesting to see how fragile this world really is.”
Craig Schaffter is a retired engineer who tours of places of scientific interest in the U.S.
Hanford tour

Original Hanford safety warning. PHOTO BY CAROL CIZAUSKAS

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