A part of Western Reserve Academy, this structure is southernmost in the historic Brick Row, a three room Flemish bond brick building, 37’ by 16’, domed in copper over the central section. The original telescope and transit are still in place, the telescope mounted on a stone pier sunk six feet into the ground.
Although functional in style, there are some details from Asher Benjamin pattern books. It was built by Simeon Porter from the design of Professor Elias Loomis, who had studied observatories in Europe and purchased the necessary instruments in England. The instruments had been installed and the observatory was in operation by 1838, making this the second oldest observatory in the United States. Professor Loomis described its operation in an article in Harper’s Monthly in 1856.
James Ellsworth restored the observatory in 1908, and it was again restored in 1963.