The ObservatoryBuilt in 1896, the Observatory was the home of the Astronomy Department until 1979. It continues to be used for astronomy classes and public open houses.

The Friends of the University of Illinois Observatory are committed to the preservation of the National Historic Landmark Observatory and to enhance its educational, cultural and economic value for the people of Illinois.

In order to accomplish its mission, the Friends of the University of Illinois Observatory will;

  • Support maintaining and improving the observatory building, surrounding land, and collection of historical artifacts in order to retain the physical integrity expected of a National Historic Landmark.
  • Plan and document to assist in maintaining the Observatory in a historically accurate manner.
  • Support the Department of Astronomy through diligent conservation, maintenance, preservation and restoration efforts.
  • Promote public programming and provide educational opportunities and resources for the public at large, school and university educators and students, and professional and amateur astronomers.

Join the Friends and help us maintain an important part of America’s scientific heritage.

“Out of the mists which surround the remote past a universe of stars has appeared. . . And here we are on the earth, this planet of ours, while all around and above us nature is staging a grand play of events, inviting our interest in the wonderful universe in which we live.”

Robert H. Baker, When the Stars Come Out.