The Cincinnati Observatory, founded by Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel in 1842, is America’s oldest public/professional observatory. The observatory was situated on Mt. Adams, east of the current downtown Cincinnati; the hill was named for former President John Quincy Adams when he laid the observatory’s cornerstone. In 1873 the observatory was relocated to Mt. Lookout when it became a component of the University of Cincinnati (UC). From 1870s until 1930s the stellar proper motion studies reigned as the observatory’s principal activity. Following World War II until 1978 the observatory housed the World Minor Planet Center – the custodian for the asteroids. In 1999 the Cincinnati Observatory Center, a 501©(3) organization, assumed control of the observatory from UC, arranged for a National Historic Landmark designation, raised $2.5 million to restore the buildings, and is converting the Cincinnati Observatory to a public educational outreach facility and a working 19th century astronomical observatory.
3489 Observatory Place
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