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Williams Observatory, built in 1924, has retained its original charm as an observatory and academic building on the Hood campus. It was built and named in honor of a lawyer and bank president, John H. Williams of Frederick, through a bequest from his daughter, M. Janet Williams of Frederick. The building was renovated in 1985 and houses classrooms, a library, an observation deck, and a telescope built by Alvan Clark and Sons. The eight-inch lens of the telescope was originally made for the Harvard College Observatory in the early 1870s and was used for some of the earliest photographic studies of stellar spectra.
Hood opens the observatory to the community for special events or whenever favorable viewing conditions for planets or other popular sights are present.