Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Bradley Observatory and Delafield Planetarium

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Institution Name: Agnes Scott College
Original/Historic Place Name: Bradley Observatory
Location on Campus: E. Hancock St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1951original construction Francis M. Daves & Associates
2000renovation and expansion (Delafield Planetarium) Warren Epstein Associates
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: concrete; metal frame; brick veneer
Roof: bitumen; standing-seam alumninum
ca. 1951planetarium (6-seat)
ca. 1951observatory
ca. 1951faculty offices
ca. 1951classrooms (including seminar room)
ca. 2000-present (2007)planetarium (70-seat)
ca. 2000-present (2007)academic department building (research laboratory)
ca. 2000-present (2007)observatory
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2007)theater (recital hall)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms (large theater-type classroom and other seminar room)

Significance: architecture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterSouth Candler Street--Agnes Scott College Historic District (1994)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Bradley Observatory was built in 1949, when the study of astronomy was virtually nonexistent in the Southeast. It is situated in a wooded area on the far south side of campus. Renovated in 2000 with the addition of the 70-seat Delafield Planetarium, the facility houses various technical equipment, including a Zeiss Skymaster ZKP-3 projector (one of only nine in the United States), eight Meade ETX-90E Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, six Celestron eight-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, two Meade LX50 eight-inch and 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, the recently modernized and upgraded Beck Telescope, 1930 vintage Cassegrain with 30-inch primary mirror, and the Bradley Radio Telescope (BraT).

The observatory's Celestial Spheres plaza is a carefully scaled representation of the solar system and the Milky Way galaxy. Designed by Agnes Scott astronomy and art professors, the plaza is a mosaic of shades of granite.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Agnes Scott College Alumnae Magazine (Winter 2001).

Dedication of Bradley Observatory and Delafield Planetarium, Agnes Scott College. Program brochure. 2000.

McNair, Walter Edward. Lest We Forget: An Account of Agnes Scott College. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1983.

Sayrs, M. Lee, and Christine S. Cozzens. A Full and Rich Measure. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1990.

Sharp, Leslie N. South Candler Street--Agnes Scott College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1994.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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Last update: November 2006