Swasey Observatory

Swasey Observatory

Established: 
1909
Current Use: 

Its 9-inch refracting and two 8-inch reflecting telescopes are fitted for astrophotography. It also houses an astronomy library and dark rooms.

History & Architecture

In 1909, Denison University Trustee Ambrose Swasey contributed the funding to build an observatory, which he also furnished with its original astronomical equipment. At that time, his firm, the Warner & Swasey Co. of Cleveland, had manufactured many of the world's finest and largest telescopes. Built of white Vermont marble, the interior was renovated and the outer dome replaced in 1970 and today's observatory houses a 9-inch refracting and two 8-inch reflecting telescopes, which are fitted for astrophotography. It also houses the astronomy library and dark rooms.

Central Campus
The Observatory’s Warner & Swasey 9-inch refracting telescope, which looks like something out of a Jules Verne novel, offers students incredible views of the moon, the spot on Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn.
Classic photos of Swasey Observatory spanning the 20th Century.

The 1909 observatory first stood like a white marble temple of science on the ridge of College Hill, at a time when chapel walk was still a dirt path.

Swasey Observatory

Swasey Observatory is not only used as a student educational and research facility but also for public outreach. Enjoy this gallery of familiar and unusual perspectives of a signature building.