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4.1
13 votes

The Cincinnati Observatory Center

3489 Observatory Pl, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208 USA

$
$$$$
Budget
Closed Now
Opens Mon 12p

“A unique astronomical institution”

High atop Mount Lookout in Cincinnati is the oldest professional observatory in the country. The Cincinnati Observatory Center has been allowing people to look up into the starry night sky since 1873, and has become a favorite stop for visitors who are looking take part (and a peek) a America's history.  Originally founded in 1843, courtesy of professor Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, the original observatory was built onto Mount Ida, which was shortly renamed Mount Adams, after John Quincey Adams, who was present during the laying of the cornerstone and died shorty after the speech.  Unfortunately for the observatory, over time Cincinnati had grown too large and the pollution made it almost impossible for astronomers to see anything in the night sky. So in 1873 the whole observatory was taken to Mount Lookout where still it is today. Over the years the Cincinnati Observatory has been in several different states of disrepair, until famed astronomer Paul Nohr took an interest in the historical location and helped the observatory receive new telescopes and proper care for the ones they already had.  Today the observatory calls itself the “Birthplace of American Astronomy” and is an absolutely awesome place to visit for anyone with even a small interest in the galaxies far, far away. If you’re planning a trip to Cincinnati, do yourself a favor and make sure to pay a visit to the observatory to spend an afternoon learning about astronomy in the place where it all began!  -Roadtrippers The Cincinnati Observatory is one of the most unique astronomical institutions in the United States. It is a fully functioning 19th century observatory used daily by the public and amateur astronomers, civic organizations, teachers and students, history buffs and science mavens. Located atop the rolling hills of Mt. Lookout, the Observatory is home to the world's oldest telescope still in use nightly by the general public. Two handsome National Historic Landmark buildings and the beautiful grounds provide a serene, park-like setting while still being centrally located in the city of Cincinnati. 

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Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 314 Reviews
  • 340 Helpful
September 22, 2014
Rated 3.0

Beautiful little observatory with lots of regular events, and if you weren't looking for it, you might not even know it was there. Great little stop for a photo op even if you aren't interested in the events.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Austin Coop

  • 486 Reviews
  • 433 Helpful
July 14, 2014

Sitting on a peaceful dead end street of beautiful Victorian homes, the observatory is a wonderful place to snap a picture or two. The place still operates and has a calendar of events if star gazing is your thing. It's often trumped by nearby Ault Park, but it's still a beautiful place for a picnic!

1 person found this review helpful

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The Cincinnati Observatory Center

3489 Observatory Pl
Cincinnati, Ohio
45208 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Mon - Fri: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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  • Street Parking
  • Private Parking
  • Yes Parking

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