Astrophysical Observatory Established

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The Astrophysical Observatory is established in a wooden edifice built at the cost of the Smithsonian on the grounds south of the Smithsonian Institution Building. It will subsequently be enlarged, and three other smaller structures will be added between 1893 and 1898, all enclosed by a fence.


  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • South Yard


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897., p. 425-426, 841
  • Rathbun, Richard. The United States National Museum: An Account of the Buildings Occupied by the National Collections, Washington, D.C., 1905. Reprinted from the Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1903, pp. 177-309., p. 261

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


March 1, 1890


  • Astrophysics
  • Architecture
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • New Bureaus
  • Astronomy
  • Facilities and Grounds
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History
  • Buildings
  • Building
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction

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