Lowell Observatory's Clark Telescope to be refurbished in Flagstaff this fall

May 23, 2013

The historic Clark Telescope at Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory is set to undergo a $300,000 makeover. A fundraiser for the project successfully wrapped up this week.

The telescope has been a familiar site on Flagstaff’s Mars Hill for the past 117 years.  It’s a popular tourist attraction and still operates, but it’s long overdue for a complete overhaul.

Lowell Observatory Outreach Manager Kevin Schindler said a two month fundraising campaign for the project made its goal over the weekend when the Toomey Foundation made a $100,000 donation.  He said the telescope will be dismantled and refurbished this fall. 

“The telescope hasn’t been taken apart since 1897 and so once we get inside it’s hard to know what needs to be replaced but there are other things that we won’t know until we get inside of it," Schindler said.

Schindler says the dome over the top of the Clark Telescope also needs to be replaced because it leaks during rain and snow storms. The Clark has a 24-inch objective lens and it was placed on the list of National Historic Landmarks in 1966.

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