The Old Site of the US Naval Observatory
In early 2006 and twice in 2007, Jan Herman, historian of the Bureau of
Medicine and Surgery, gave us a tour of the previous site of the US Naval
Observatory in Foggy Bottom. These pictures are a record of those visits.
Recent Washington Post articles (Sunday 24 June 2007):
- Historical Marker describing the site.
- The exterior of the Main Building with the dome for the 9.6inch refractor. The bay to the right was for a
transit circle, but thermal effects eventually moved this further to the right. This then housed the
library. To the right of the main entrance was another transit and the Mural Circle.
- Main entrance.
- National Historic Landmark Plaque.
- Prime Meridian Marker.
- Entry vestebule of the Main Building looking back to the Rotunda. Historically, a circular staircase
wound around the pier of the 9.6inch.
- Jan Herman describing Matthew Fontaine Maury.
- Superintendent's Residence.
- Staircase in Superintendant's Residence. Historically, this was centered in the entry hall.
- Hearth in Formal Sitting Room.
- Faint scratches of "Nanny" Maury in the glass pane of the residence from the 19th Century.
- Jan Herman describing the 22 August 1863 visit to the Observatory: "I talked to a man, who talked to a man,
who talked to a man ..." seated at left in USNO librarian Sally Bosken.
- L to R: Jan Herman, Greg Hennessy, Jennifer Bartlett, Bill Hartkopf and Deborah Cline.
- Formerly the dome of the 26", now a Rotunda. Bill Hartkopf and Ankit Patel inspect a historical photo of
the 26" in this site.
- In the rotunda, one of the flags of the USS Maury.
- Plaque in the rotunda commemorating the discovery of the Moons of Mars by Asaph Hall here.
- Greg Hennessy and Deborah Cline examine an 1885 photo from the Washington Monument showing the Observatory.
- Rotunda (dome of the 26") from the Northwest.
- Southwest view, dome of 9.6" behind.
- Southeast view, dome of 9.6" behind.
- East view.