Tuesday, February 25, 2014

doings | yerkes observatory

I love getting the opportunity to play tourist in my own town.  And despite my best intentions to tour Yerkes Observatory, it's just never happened.  I've grown up hearing stories and wondering about this famous refracting telescope that sits on a hill overlooking the lake and decided that Saturday looked like a great day to go.

My little sisters are fascinated with stars and astronauts and such.  I figured they'd be up for an adventure.  

They absolutely were!  

I'm just plain crazy about museums, architecture and other things that most people find boring.  The three of us were practically giddy when we left the house at 9am.  The rest of our family told us to "have fun!" and rolled their eyes.  Oh we will, thank you!
The tour didn't disappoint!  Our guides were funny older gentlemen who've spent waaaay too many years here at Yerkes.  We learned all about the beginning of the observatory (lots of money & Chicago politics involved).  

And there is it, the telescope!

I affectionately call these girlies my "space cadets", even though they're actually brilliant.  The building that houses the telescope is unheated, it was a toasty 17 degrees inside, but it was worth it to be on the floor as our guide raised and lowered it for us (and whistled a sic-fi theme, bonus!).  

We stood in the very same spot that Einstein once stood.

The architecture was surprisingly ornate.  Terracotta exterior and painted plaster inside.  The pillars had celestial designs and very funny characters hidden throughout.  It reminded me a bit of Rosslyn Chapel, one of the strangest places I've ever been.  
And then we bought postcards and astronaut ice cream in the gift shop.

Because I believe in supporting great museums.  And where else are you going to find astronaut ice cream?

1 comment:

  1. How fun! I've been curious about that place (though more for the architecture as it relates to photo backdrop than for much interest in telescopes... ;-).