According to the account in Paul Siple's book, the then-new IGY station at the South Pole was formally dedicated and named the "Amundsen-Scott IGY South Pole Station" on January 23, 1957. This was a massive PAO event with many speeches, messages from President Eisenhower and other international heads of state, and Marines in full dress uniform.
Oh, by the way, the dedication ceremony was held at McMurdo. The folks at Pole never even knew about it until the next flight three weeks later...On top before going in, we look back toward the dome. During our summer season the place was not yet off limits. We still had many official reasons to visit--moving supplies, salvaging science stuff, dismantling antennas, and operating the cosray lab to collect baseline data. Partly to make sure that we could respond to any emergency situations over there, I had $10 tours from former residents Bill Smythe and Paul Rydelek of UCLA. Paul wintered here in 1974 and Bill lived here during the 74-75 summer.
Left, we are down inside, at the bottom of the holy stairs. Actually this picture was taken by the NOAA guy John Bortniak in December 1978, a year after we all left, and this intrepid explorer shall go unnamed. All the plaques and flagpoles at the top of the stairs probably gave this entrance its name.In 1976-77 there were other entrances easier and safer to use than this one. More recently all of the other surface protrusions have been removed to reduce drifting and restrict access.
The galley building had met offices (labelled "W.B" for weather bureau on the map) at one end, with the "rawin" dome (tracker for the weather balloons) above them. The fiberglass dome (and probably the tracking antenna as well) were relocated to the BIT at our station. As far as the dining room is concerned, where is the house mouse when you need him?
In 1977 all of the buildings including this one appeared to be structurally sound, with level floors. These buildings were constructed of the same "T5" panels used at McMurdo and other original IGY stations (I also saw some of these panels at Thule and Camp Tuto in Greenland)--they were two layers of wood with windows and insulation, prefabricated with metal clips to hold the panels together. The total thickness of the panels was only about 6" so you can imagine how good the insulation was. Anyway, during the winter when the station was "closed" the temperature from all of the oil-fired heaters in the buildings would raise the tunnel temperatures to +20°F or warmer and melting of the snow above the roofs became a real problem. During the summer when the tunnel exits were dug out the tunnel temperature was usually below 0°F. After the heat was turned off in the fall of 1975, the snow cover hardened and settlement decreased. But it did not stop. When I next visited this room in 1988 the floor was buckled upwards.
Craig (?) contemplates the leftovers. We did find some welcome additions to our menu, along with pots, pans, juice machines and other goodies. We left the frozen eggs behind, and some are still there.
I've seen the more recent photos and video of scenes such as this one. It is very strange to realize that the place is "frozen in time" (sorry). It still looks like this today (well, except perhaps for the graffiti. In our days this place was still basically a part of the local neighborhood workplace and we didn't write on the walls).
Some of the more strongly reinforced tunnels. Originally the buildings were built on the surface, and light wood and cloth coverings were added to create the tunnels. Gradually over time these got reinforced and rebuilt. Here we are looking north between sickbay (door on the left) and the OIC/store building on the right. The steel structural members were installed between the galley and the sickbay/Taj Mahal in 1963-64; the OIC/store building was constructed in this space in 1969-70. Where are we...have a look at the site plan...
Club 90 South as it looked in 1976...for some unknown reason, there are boxes under the table which are full of eggs(!) This structure was rebuilt from the original berthing building that Paul Siple's group assembled during the first year; often later on it was used for overflow berthing during the summer.
Here's the comm center--when this picture was taken there were still a lot of interesting equipment and spare parts in here. Dave is salvaging some of the meters from the front panels.