The Cincinnati Observatory, “The Birthplace of American Astronomy,” is the oldest professional observatory in the United States. Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, the “Father of American Astronomy,” founded the observatory in 1842. John Quincy Adams laid the cornerstone for the observatory on Mt. Ida, later renamed Mt. Adams. The original Merz und Mahler 11-inch refractor telescope was put into service in 1845 and is still in use here today on Mount Lookout. The 1873 Herget Building, which incorporates the original Adams’ cornerstone, was designed by famed architect Samuel Hannaford.