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Albion College Astronomical Observatory

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1883–1884. Cass St. between Huron and Hannah sts.

This is one of two astronomical observatories erected in Michigan in the nineteenth century. Thirty years earlier the Detroit Observatory was built at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Here, Samuel Dickie, a mathematics professor who later became president of the college, led a fund-raising drive to construct and equip the observatory. From the rectangular, two-story, hipped-roof, red brick building projects a round corner tower topped by the observatory dome. The observatory was equipped with an equatorial telescope manufactured and mounted by Alvan Clark and Sons of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a transit circle, a sidereal clock, and a chronograph. Slender observation windows pierce the opposite walls of an extended wing. The structure has dentil-trimmed cornices and console-supported window caps. The observatory houses a lecture room.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Albion College Astronomical Observatory", [Albion, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 208-208.

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