Detroit Observatory Chronology: 1961-present

1852-1855 | 1856-1873 | 1874-1894 | 1896-1916 | 1917-1960s | 1961-present

1961 Orren C. Mohler becomes Director
1963 Astronomy moves into the new Dennison Building on central campus; Observatory used as Astronomy Library
1966 Plan developed to move the Observatory 20 feet to the south to expand the intersection in front of Old Main Hospital (never acted on)
1970 W. Albert Hiltner becomes Director
Bookcases are removed from the west wing
Asphalt roll roofing over fiberglass insulation is added to the Observatory
1970s University proposes to raze the buildings; friends of the Observatory appeal to save the original building, with success
1973 Observatory is listed in the National Register of Historic Places
1976 1908 addition is razed. Mountings from the 7 1/2-inch reflecting telescope given to the Lake Erie Astronomical Project; mirror and driving clock placed in storage
1979 Chronograph by Fauth & Co. sent out for restoration
1980s Building used as a warehouse for historical scientific and medical apparatus, and as the headquarters for the Collegiate Institute for Values and Science
Second floor modified for use as office space
1989 Building receives repairs and painting in preparation for the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Ann Arbor
Meridian circle is cleaned and polished by Orren Mohler
1991 W. Albert Hiltner dies; memorial plaque and garden installed on the grounds of the Detroit Observatory
1994  
March Oversight of the Detroit Observatory transferred to the Office of the Vice President for Research in response to its proposal to restore the building
Detroit Observatory Advisory Group appointed by Vice President for Research, Homer A. Neal; Whitesell appointed as Chair
1994-95 Scientific and medical apparatus stored in the Observatory is relocated; building is stabilized and made usable for fundraising activities
1996 Restoration planning process launched with historic preservation architect Quinn Evans/Architects
Regent Emeritus Alfred Connable was fêted at the Observatory for designating a bequest
Construction of the Magellan Project observatory in Chile
1997-98

Restoration construction process
Fitz refractor is restored; consultant's journal placed at Bentley Historical Library
Scale model of original Fitz with its wooden tube is constructed
Whitesell appointed as Director and Curator of the Observatory
Publication of A Creation of His Own: Tappan's Detroit Observatory

1999 Museum created
Installation of historical plaque by the University's History and Traditions Committee
May 21 Building rededication
October

Museum opens to the public; Lecture Series begins

2000  
Jan. 10

Freeman D. Miller dies

planned for 2004

Celebration of the Detroit Observatory's 150th anniversary
Rare transit of Venus will take place; the last transit was observed in 1882

The chronology is excerpted with the author's persmission from A Creation of His Own: Tappan's Detroit Observatory, by Patricia S. Whitesell, ©1998.