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Northwestern University, Dearborn Observatory

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Address

2131 Tech Dr.

Neighborhood

Evanston

Architect

Cobb & Frost, 1889

Description

In 1889, this observatory was completed to hold what was at one time the world’s largest telescope. This original 18.5-inch telescope is still in use. In 1997, the old handcrank-operated dome was replaced with the current shiny aluminum cover with electric motor operation. In order to minimize vibrations, the core pillar on which the telescope stands is structurally isolated from the rest of the heavy stone structure below. The entire building was laboriously moved several hundred feet over a three-month period in 1939 to make way for a campus construction project.