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September 9, 2014

How is this possible?!

Abandoned historic buildings have always saddened
me but this story down right makes me mad.
The Warner & Swasey Company manufactured precision instruments and telescopes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Owners W.R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey became trustrees of the Case School of Applied Science (later renamed to Case Institute of Technology) in Cleveland, Ohio.

 In 1919, Warner and Swasey built an observatory for the school and it housed one of the largest refractors in the country.  Unfortunately, by the 1950s, Cleveland's pollution made it impossible for the observatory to function efficiently.  A second observatory was built 30 miles out of town and the original observatory was used for administration purposes.

 From World War I to the 1960s the observatory was
one of Cleveland's most important work places.

Throughtout the 1930s and 1940s the observatory
was a popular Cleveland venue for social events. 

The Observatory, 2008

In 1983, the school sold the observatory but not long after the sale it was abandoned.  A couple bought the observatory in 2005 with plans to convert it into a residence.  Unfortunately, they were convicted of mortgage fraud in 2007 and were sent to prison.  The observatory has remained abandoned ever since.

 The National Trust for Historic Preservation has identified the observatory as a threatened landmark.  Imagine what a beautiful and unique museum this historic facility would make.  But it's quickly slipping into such a deteriorated state that within a few more years it will be beyond salvaging.

  The city of Cleveland needs to take immediate action in order to save one of our country's early research facilities for astronomy and space research.  Shame on you, Cleveland!


  1. What a shame so much history lost if not restored to its former glory.

  2. That is so sad...but on the other hand, I can see how angry I would be if it were in my down... Yes, they need to do something SOON!

  3. So sad to see this happening all over the country.

  4. AWFUL !
    What a beautiful building. And not it is almost beyond repair.
    I would love to live there.
    History is slipping through their fingers.
    And speaking of fingers... How much do you want to break some with all the graffiti.
    I would make them clean it all up with a toothbrush.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Oh, that was such a beautiful building! I hope they do something soon!