The Detroit Observatory – Ann Arbor, Michigan. Part of the University of Michigan Campus. 1854.

From the History and Traditions marker:

The Detroit Observatory, named in honor of major donors from Detroit, was the centerpiece of President Henry Philip Tappan’s efforts to transform the University of Michigan into one of the first research universities in the United States. Tappan recruited Franz Brunnow, a German astronomer, as the first director of this early scientific laboratory. The building stands today essentially as it was in 1854. The dome turns manually by means of a rope pulley, and the original astronomical instruments remain intact and operational, including the meridian circle and the refracting telescopes, which in their day were among the largest in the world. In 1973, the Detroit Observatory was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in science, education, and architecture.

Today, the building stands essentially as it was in 1854. The original astronomical instruments remain intact and operational, including the 6-inch Pistor & Martins meridian circle and the 12 5/8-inch Henry Fitz, Jr. refracting telescopes, which in their day were among the largest in the world. The dome is turned manually by pulling a continuous rope.


View Larger Map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.