Dearborn Observatory Exterior Restoration

Project Status: COMPLETED

Construction start: Summer 2015
Completion: Fall 2016

Project Description & Statistics

The historic Richardsonian Romanesque style Dearborn Observatory (located at 2131 Tech Drivewas designed by Cobbs & Frost and opened in 1898. In 2015 and 2016 it underwent a complete exterior restoration including limestone repairs, cleaning and tuckpointing to match the original beaded joint; wood window repair; at glass restoration; slate and copper roof replacement; and dismantlement, structural repair, and restoration of the wrought iron observatory walkway. 

In 1887, the Chicago Astronomical Society in affiliation with Northwestern University moved the telescope including the famed 1860's lens from the University of Chicago to Northwestern's Evanston campus. Originally located at the edge of Lake Michigan, approximately 100 yards northwest of the current location, Dearborn Observatory was moved in 1939 to make way for the Technological Institute Building. The observatory dome was replaced in 1997. was the original beaded joint; wood window repair; slate and copper roof replacements; and major repairs to the exterior steel  

Dearborn Observatory is an Evanston Landmark. The observatory is open for public viewing Fridays 8-10pm:

Project Team

Project Management

Richard Painter, Project Manager

Architect, Engineers & Consultants

Architect: McGuire Igleski & Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer: The Structural Group, Ltd.

General Contractor

Berglund Construction Company

Contact Information

All inquiries should be directed to:

Richard Painter, Project Manager
Northwestern University
Facilities Design and Construction
2020 Ridge Ave., Suite 270
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-467-2342