Charles Smith Scott Memorial Observatory

  • Also Known As: Park College Observatory

  • Address: 8700 River Park Dr
  • Vicinity: Park University
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Building

The Charles Smith Scott Memorial Observatory is a variation of the T plan observatory building style designed as a teaching facility. In its present condition, the building's historical integrity is intact due to its location, setting, design and workmanship which convey feelings of and associations with its time period and areas of significance. Located on a hill at the highest point on the Park college campus in Parkville, Missouri approximately 158 feet above the railroad line on the Missouri River, the main two story domed tower is octagonal in shape with an adjoining one story 13 x 13 foot transit telescope ell-room with a barrel roof. Both are constructed of pitched face, random ashlar limestone, pointed close quarried and dressed on the college campus. Above the transit room is a wood frame stairwell enclosure with horizontal lap siding. The octagonal observation tower which houses the equatorial room is 15 feet 8 inches in diameter and rises to a height of 29 feet 4 inches. It is capped by a hand-tooled limestone plate, which carries the dome track, and copper ogee guttering which unites with the limestone plate to form a cornice. The exterior diameter of the wood framed, copper sheathed dome is 15 feet 6 inches and its base begins at 5 feet 4 inches above the second floor equatorial room floor. The operable, sliding viewing slot has a clear opening of 2 feet 6 inches. The original three foot wide wrought-iron exterior balcony runs the outer circumference of the building at the second story floor level. It features a wrought iron lattice balustrade and is supported by decorative iron brackets which are bolted through the masonry wall. The transit room has a vaulted copper sheathed roof with two hinged shuttered roof viewing ports operated by weights and pulleys which extend across the width of the roof and are situated directly above two shuttered side viewing ports. - NRHP, 4 November 1992



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Mattoon,A.M. Architect
Charles Patrick Breen Architect

Data »

Particulars for Charles Smith Scott Memorial Observatory:
Area of Significance Architecture
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Building Type Astronomical Observatory
Science Astronomy
Sight Category Building
Area of Significance Education
Criteria Historic Event
Owner Private
Historic Use Research facility
Area of Significance Science

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration:

Registry Name:
Registry Address:
Registry Number: 92000625
Resource Type:
Owner: Private
Architect: Mattoon,A.M.; Breen,Charles Patrick
Architectural Style: Other
Attribute: Modified T Plan Observatory
Other Certification: Date received-pending nomination
Level of Significance: State
Area of Significance: Education, Science, Architecture
Applicable Criteria: Event, Architecture-Engineering
Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1875-1899
Significant Year: 1896
Historic Function: Education
Historic Sub-Function: Research facility
Current Function: Work in progress
Current Sub-Function:

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