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See You in 2022!

The Detroit Observatory Classroom and Accessibility Addition project will help transform the Detroit Observatory into a center for understanding and celebrating U-M history, a site for student and public astronomy in an historic setting, and venue for a variety of University events.

The construction project will address accessibility issues, provide much-needed educational and event space, and outfit the complex with advanced capacity for physical and digital exhibits.

Construction at a Glance

Here is a quick look at some of the enhancements and upgrades this project will provide.

  • 7000 square-foot, three-level addition
  • Street-level main entrance with access to the first floor of the historic Observatory by elevator and stairs
  • Full handicapped accessibility to all addition levels and to the main floor of the Detroit Observatory, which houses the historic Meridian Circle Telescope and will hold exhibits
  • Multi-use classroom with capacity for 45 students working in groups or 75 -style
  • Physical and digital exhibit spaces and technology
  • Capacity for 19th-century-style or technology-enhanced astronomical observing
  • Catering kitchen to support dinners and receptions in the multi-use classroom
  • Preservation and conservation of the historic Observatory building and instruments
  • Architects: Harley Ellis Devereaux, Southfield, Michigan
  • Contractor: A Z Shmina, Brighton, Michigan

Construction Camera

The Detroit Observatory Will Re-Open in 2022

At that time, we anticipate the Observatory’s expanded programming will include:
  • Classes
  • Lectures and presentations on U-M history, astronomy, and more
  • U-M History Tours: the Observatory, the campus, and beyond
  • Public astronomy in an historic setting
  • Exhibits

You Can Help Bring 165 Years of History to Life

Your gift to the Detroit Observatory construction project will support a campus icon. Click here for a full list of ways you can support the Observatory, or contact us to learn more.

Give Today

For questions about giving, please contact: Ceci Riecker, Director of Development for the Bentley Historical Library and Detroit Observatory
(734) 647-3534 |