Historic Buildings and Telescopes

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Historic Buildings and Telescopes


Lowell Observatory has been contributing to science since 1894 when Percival Lowell established his institution in Flagstaff, Arizona. Over the years, Lowell Observatory has evolved and continues to be an upstanding scientific institution. This collection highlights historic buildings and telescopes on the Mars Hill campus.

Collection Items

View of Clark Telescope from early Flagstaff
The Clark telescope on Mars Hill seen from an early Flagstaff, Arizona. Founded in 1894, Lowell Observatory was built in the small town of Flagstaff after much deliberation. The site was chosen for not only its viewing potential but also proximity to…

View from Percival  Lowell's garden
Percival Lowell's garden with Baronial Mansion and 24- inch Clark Telescope in the background, depicting the early history of Lowell Observatory's campus.

Clark Telescope
A weathered image of the Clark Telescope dome's interior.

Percival Lowell and staff on steps of 24-inch  dome
Percival Lowell and staff on the steps of the 24-inch Clark telescope dome in 1905. Back: Harry Hussey, Vesto M. Slipher; Middle: John C. Duncan, Wrexie Leonard; Front: Percival Lowell, Carl Lampland.

Sykes Brothers working on 24-inch dome
Godfrey and Stanley Sykes working on the 24-inch Clark Telescope dome. The Clark is the oldest telescope on the observatory's campus, built in 1896.

24-inch telescope dome in Tacubaya, Mexico
Three men standing in front of the Clark Telescope and canvas-covered dome in Tacubaya, Mexico. The Clark telescope was moved out of Flagstaff to Tacubaya for better viewing conditions but was only there for a few months before it was brought back to…

Clark Telescope and mount in Mexico
The Clark Telescope and its mount in Mexico in 1896. The Clark was housed in a canvas covered dome in Tacubaya, Mexico.

Clark Telescope in Mexico
The Clark Telescope in a canvas-covered dome in Mexico in 1896. The dome closely resembles the Clark's current wooden dome. Although the move was only for a few months, the time the telescope spent in Mexico is an interesting part of its history.

Clark Telescope on Mars Hill
After a trip to Tacubaya, Mexico in search of better viewing conditions, Percival Lowell returned to Flagstaff with the Clark Telescope in 1897, where it has remained on Mars Hill to this day.

Clark Telescope
The Clark Telescope is the oldest telescope at Lowell Observatory. Photographed in 1909 by E.C. Slipher, it has played an important role in research and outreach at the observatory.
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