HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago will start demolition this week on the original home of the Doomsday Clock, the university said.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists directors conceived the figurative clock in 1947 in the magazine’s offices at 6042 S. Kimbark Ave., and it was designed to show how close the human race was to global disaster.
The magazine moved out of the office in 2007 and took the clock with them, and the third-floor room that once housed the clock has opened up as the roof collapsed.
“Most days people don’t come up here,” then-editor Mark Strauss told the University of Chicago Magazine in 2005 about the original clock. “One of the most famous global icons is up in the watchtower, keeping vigil.”
The Doomsday Clock was set to seven minutes to midnight in 2005 as it hung over a collapsible Ping-Pong table. The clock's hands have been adjusted 20 times since 1947, most recently in 2012 were moved to five minutes to midnight because of increasing threats of regional nuclear conflict, climate change and weapons stockpiles.
The university will begin demolition of the former offices and a parking lot at 6011 S. Woodlawn Ave., but has not yet said the intended use for the site.
A representative from the university did not return calls requesting comment.