History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester
United States Hotel Prince Street Campus Eastman School of Music Medical Center River Campus Mid-Campus South Campus Mt. Hope Campus Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing Central Utilities Other Off-Site Buildings
Prince Street Campus Trevor Observatory

Trevor Observatory after being moved to River Campus in 1956

Relocated Observatory behind the Particle Physics Building (now New York State Optics) from 1959 Bulletin, pages 7 and 291. Observatory in 1959

Board of Trustee President John B. Trevor donated an observatory in 1876 that included a 6-inch equatorial telescope manufactured by M  Alvan Clark & Sons of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The observatory was installed between the Reynolds Memorial Laboratory and Carnegie Laboratory

The observatory was offered for sale in 1955 along with other buildings on the Prince Street campus, but it was not sold and in 1956 was moved to River Campus.  It was demolished to allow the construction of the 1967 Space Science building, later named Wilmot Hall.

The new Mees Observatory was built in 1965 and another observatory was installed on top of the Space Science building (now Wilmot) which houses a 14 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope on an equatorial mount.

1876 Twenty-Seventh Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the University of Rochester
Page 30:  The Trevor Telescope. Through the thoughtful liberality of John B. Trevor, Esq., President of the Board of Trustees, a telescope has been purchased during the past year of Alvin Clarke-and Sons, Cambridgeport, Mass., and a building erected for Astronomical purposes. This instrument which has a six-inch object-glass, is seven feet six inches in focal length, and is mounted equatorially, with right ascension and declination circles is designed for use as an adjunct to class-room instruction, though sufficiently powerful for purposes of special investigation.

1898 Prominent Families of New York: Being an Account in Biographical Form of Individuals and Families Distinguished as Representatives of the Social, Professional and Civic Life of New York City, by Lyman Horace Weeks
Page 574:  John B. Trevor (1822-1890)

1955 "This Land and These Buildings Now for Sale," Democrat and Chronicle, February 20, 1955, Page 9E.
There is also an all-metal observatory on the property.  It is 17 feet in diameter and has a rotating roof and platform for observing the stars.

1956 Rochester Review 18(2):4 (November 1956)
Another landmark from the Prince Street Campus has been moved to the River Campus - the ancient observatory, dating back to 1876.  Malcolm Savedoff, astronomy teacher, points to closed slit for the telescope.

1957 "Observatory Has Interesting Past History; Contains Only Telescope in Rochester," Campus Times, March 26, 1957, Page 3.

1968 Alvan Clark & Sons: Artists in Optics, by Deborah Jean Warner
Page 87:  A 6-inch Clark equatorial, intended primarily as an adjunct to classroom instruction, was given to the University of Rochester in 1876.

1977 History of the University of Rochester, by Arthur J. May (on-line version with footnotes)
Chapter 8, Continuity and Growth
Thanks to a benefaction from Trustee President John B. Trevor, a telescope, seven and a half feet long, was acquired (1876) primarily for class work in astronomy, though sufficiently powerful for research investigations; a small structure to house the telescope was erected, and eight decades later it was transferred intact to the River Campus where it remained until torn down in 1967. During a class period a student, who was asked to report on his personal observations of the heavens, replied that he had had a "date" on Saturday evening "and found an unusual halo around Venus."

2021 Morris A. Pierce