Institute for Telecommunication Sciences / September 1954

September 1954: Radio Building in Boulder Dedicated

On the morning of September 14th, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first sitting president to visit Boulder, Colorado, when he dedicated the new Boulder Labs for the National Bureau of Standards. After a tour of the labs, President Eisenhower made a brief speech in front of the new Radio Building (Building 1—where ITS is still housed). "It seemed to me," he said, "as I went through (the Radio building) with Dr. Astin, that here we have a new type of frontier. This spot, only a few short decades ago was inhabited by Indians and by buffalo, and later, by trappers and miners. It became the center of a great mining and agricultural region, which has meant so much to the United States in the past – and indeed does now. But the frontier days when we could go out and discover new land – new wonders of geography and of nature – have seemed largely in the past. Here, today, inside the building, we have a frontier of possibly even greater romantic value, as well as greater material value to us, than were some of the discoveries of those days... It is my high privilege to dedicate this facility of the Bureau of Standards to the welfare of humanity – in America and throughout the world." Eisenhower then pushed a button to release a curtain and unveil the building's cornerstone, which is still visible on the north side of Building 1's front courtyard. The National Bureau of Standards no longer exists, but its child agencies NIST and ITS still occupy the Radio Building, exploring scientific frontiers.