The Allegheny Observatory is an American astronomical research institution, a part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. The facility is listed on the National Register of Historical Places (ref. # 79002157, added June 22, 1979) and is designated as a Pennsylvania state and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation historic landmark.See Allegheny Observatory and all Pittsburgh has to offer by arranging your trip with our Pittsburgh attractions planner.
The observatory was founded on February 15, 1859, in the city of Allegheny, Pennsylvania (incorporated into the City of Pittsburgh in 1907) by a group of wealthy industrialists calling themselves the Allegheny Telescope Association. The observatory's initial purpose was for general public education as opposed to research, but by 1867 the revenues derived from this had receded. The facility was then donated to the Western University of Pennsylvania, today known as the University of Pittsburgh.
The University hired Samuel Pierpont Langley to be the first director. One of the research programs initiated under his leadership was of sunspots. He drew very detailed drawings of sunspots which are still used in astronomical textbooks to this day. He also had the building expanded to include dark rooms, class rooms, dormitories, and a lecture hall.
Allegheny Observatory Reviews
Many of my friends who live in Pittsburgh have not taken advantage of one of Pittsburgh's "national treasures" it's a very cool, fun and educational experience for the whole family young and old. more »
We had an incredible time at the Allegheny Observatory. We went to the Thursday Night program. Reservations are necessary. We aren't especially interested in the universe/stars. However, the presentat... more »
It was a nice walk around, can kind of get a view through the trees. The Observatory looks cool with its architecture, but definitely in need of a funded restoration project.
When we arrived, the observatory was closed, and a call indicated that reservations were necessary for night viewings. Be sure to call ahead as they book up quickly. We never got inside, but the area is beautiful and a great location for an observatory. Four stars for its potential. Hopefully next time we will get an appointment.
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