The observatory building and telescope are outstanding examples of late 19th-century architecture and technical achievement.
Hale first located two 42-inch (106.68 centimeters) glass blanks that were originally intended to be used in a telescope on Mt. Wilson, California (just north of Pasadena). Funds for this new University of Chicago observatory–a monumental undertaking–were provided by the financier, Charles Yerkes, after several meetings with Hale. The building was designed by Henry Ives Cobb.
The mount for the telescope was designed and built by Warner & Swasey in Cleveland, and was displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, billed as the largest telescope in the world. For example, the mount is 43 feet (13 meters) high and weighs 50 tons. The telescope tube is over 60 feet (18 meters) long and weighs about 6 tons. Warner & Swasey also built the 90-foot (27 meters) diameter dome and a 73-foot (22.25 meters) diameter elevator platform/floor.
We want to thank David Mariotti for writing this blog post and for creating these interesting panoramas.