Chamberlin Observatory

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Chamberlin Observatory
Chamberlin Observatory
Chamberlin Observatory, circa 1900.
OrganizationUniversity of Denver
Observatory code708 Edit this on Wikidata
Location2930 E. Warren Ave., Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Coordinates39°40′34″N 104°57′11″W / 39.67611°N 104.95306°W / 39.67611; -104.95306
Altitude1651 meters (5417 feet)
WeatherSee the Clear Sky Chart
Alvan Clark-George N. Saegmuller20-inch aperture, f/15 refractor
Chamberlin Observatory
Chamberlin Observatory is located in Colorado
Chamberlin Observatory
Chamberlin Observatory is located in the United States
Chamberlin Observatory
Location2930 E. Warren Ave., Denver, Colorado
Coordinates39°40′34″N 104°57′11″W / 39.67611°N 104.95306°W / 39.67611; -104.95306Coordinates: 39°40′34″N 104°57′11″W / 39.67611°N 104.95306°W / 39.67611; -104.95306
ArchitectRobert S. Roeschlaub
Architectural styleRomanesque, Richardsonian Romanesque
NRHP reference #80000887[1]
CSRHP #5DV.187
Added to NRHPMarch 27, 1980
Chamberlin Observatory is located in the United States
Chamberlin Observatory
Location of Chamberlin Observatory
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Chamberlin Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the University of Denver. It is located in Denver, Colorado (US) in Observatory Park. It is named for Humphrey B. Chamberlin, a Denver real estate magnate who pledged $50,000 in 1888 to build and equip the facility.

The observatory building was designed by Robert S. Roeschlaub, with the astronomical aspects and functions designed by Professor Herbert Alonzo Howe after he visited many observatories in the east. It was modeled after the Goodsell Observatory at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and constructed from rusticated red sandstone blocks. The Romanesque structure includes a central rotunda and domed roof. Construction began in 1890.

The 20-inch objective lens for the observatory's main refracting telescope was made by Alvan Clark & Sons, and the mount was built by George Nicholas Saegmuller. The mount rests on a cast iron pillar which is in turn supported by a massive stone pier. Assembly of the telescope was supervised by Professor Herbert Alonzo Howe. The telescope saw first light in 1894.[2][3]

As of 2018, the Denver Astronomical Society hosts several public outreach events at the observatory every month.[4] As it is located in a large metropolitan area, the observatory is heavily affected by light pollution, which limits its use in scientific research.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Stencel, Robert E. "Chamberlin Observatory homepage". Welcome to the Virtual Tour. Archived from the original on 2006-01-27. Retrieved December 16, 2005.
  3. ^ Stencel, Claire M.; Stencel, Robert E. (2006). Denver's Great Telescope. Denver: University of Denver Astronomy Program. ISBN 0-9762017-2-0. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  4. ^ "Chamberlin Observatory". Denver Astronomical Society. Retrieved 2018-05-28.

External links[edit]