As the city’s residents set about rebuilding the city following the blast's immediate aftermath, the building's survival earned it the Genbaku Dome moniker. Although some of its structure remained, the ruined building was initially set to be demolished. However, as plans grew to re-establish Hiroshima as a symbol of peace, the site’s incredible fortitude saw many locals argue it should form part of a new memorial.
During this time, Hiroshima’s post-war government sought advice from local and foreign consultants about how best to rebuild the city, with American city planner Tam Deling suggesting ground zero as a location for a new peace memorial. Soon after, in August 1949, the city announced an international design competition, with celebrated Japanese architect Kenzo Tange’s proposal selected as the winner of 145 entries.
Tange imagined a massive inner-city memorial stretching from the Atomic Dome in the northeast to Peace Boulevard in the south, featuring museums and monuments intertwined with tranquil nature encounters. After four years of construction, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum opened in August 1955, with over 100,000 people visiting in its first year. As the museum exhibits expanded, this number grew to 500,000 by 1964.
Following renovations in the 1970s and 1990s, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum offered enhanced exhibition spaces and technology. Now the permanent exhibition in the East Building is divided into four sections to explore Hiroshima before the war, the geopolitical circumstances around the atomic bombing, the city's commitment to peace, and the dangers of nuclear weapons, as told by local survivors.