Goodbye Black Hole!

The Black Hole is being demolished today at 4015 Arkansas Ave. Photo by Kathryn Willcutt

Scene of the demolishing of The Black Hole underway today at 4015 Arkansas Ave. Photo by Kathryn Willcutt

Scene of the demolishing of The Black Hole underway today at 4015 Arkansas Ave. Photo by Kathryn Willcutt

Staff Report

The Black Hole is being demolished today at 4015 Arkansas Ave. Edward Grothus, the company’s founder and internationally known anti-nuclear activist, died in 2009. His wife Margaret Grothus died in March of 2012 and their daughter Barbara Grothus, former president of Los Alamos Sales Company, the unique salvage store affectionately dubbed “The Black Hole”, announced in 2012 that the business would close.

The Black Hole was sold to a developer and in April of 2019, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved an application to rezone the two contiguous land parcels where the Black Hole and Omega Peace Church were located.

The rezoning, which changed the zoning designation for the 4.5 acre property from a light commercial and professional district to mixed-use, paved the way for T2 Development LLC to construct 44 townhouses, 21 of which will be duplexes along with two stand-alone units. COVID and other issues caused a delay in moving the project forward prior to today.

Ed Grothus established The Black Hole in 1973 and operated the business out of the Arkansas Avenue location since the 1970s. A public liquidation sale of the contents of the buildings, parking lot and adjoining property held in September of 2012 included items such as Cold War relics and equipment and supplies from the Manhattan Project and the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory/Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Scene of the demolishing of The Black Hole underway today at 4015 Arkansas Ave. Photo by Kathryn Willcutt

Scene of the demolishing of The Black Hole underway today at 4015 Arkansas Ave. Photo by Kathryn Willcutt

Despite operating a junk yard, The Black Hole owner Ed Grothus almost always dressed in a white shirt with an elaborate inlaid kachina bolo. Often his enthusiasm overrode the caution to don work clothes and he ruined countless shirts and pairs of pants. He wore the bolo everywhere for years. Courtesy photo

LOS ALAMOS

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