Warner Observatory

Warner Observatory The Warner Observatory was completed in Rochester, New York in 1882. It was financed by Hulbert Harrington Warner, patron to the American astronomer Lewis Swift.By the time the 16-inch refractive telescope, made by Alvan Clark and Sons, was installed, it had cost Warner almost $100,000 but was the fourth largest in the United States at the time.Swift used the observatory to investigate comets and nebulae, including the periodic comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR.

On Tuesday and Friday evenings, Swift opened the doors to the public to those who had bought a.25-cent ticket from Warner’s Patent Medicine Store. This was the first time an observatory had been opened to the public.After Warner was forced into bankruptcy in 1893, Swift moved the telescope to California where his new patron, Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, was building an observatory on Echo Mountain. By that time observations in New York were becoming increasingly difficult due to the developing city around it.The building then fell vacant, and between 1901 and 1909 it was operated as the Vernon Academy of Mental Sciences and the Vernon Sanatorium.In 1920 the building was boarded up, and finally razed in 1931.A good description of the observatory can be found in Swift's own notes:

Operating as usual


Rochester, NY


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