Nat/Sci In-Person: Chamberlin Observatory

Course is Full
Please contact us for more information.

Course Details

  • Course Code: ENRICH-0860_DUCO
  • Location: University Park
  • Mode of Study: In-person
  • Places Left: 0
  • Waitlist Places Left: 0
  • Fee: $35
Chamberlin Observatory: A Field Trip Around the Stars
One In-Person Session
Fri., Mar. 22, 2024, 7-9 pm MT

This year marks the 130th birthday of one of Denver’s most iconic gems: the Chamberlin Observatory, which first saw light in 1894. “The latter half of the 19th century witnessed the explosive growth of scientific technologies,” says instructor Bill Kast, who took up astronomy at age 10. “Astronomy was entering a golden age, and quiet competition arose … to see who could build the best telescopes. Large observatory domes became the new campus status symbol.”

Join Kast for his on-site presentation on the history of Chamberlin Observatory along with the personalities that came together to create it: Rufus "Potato" Clark, a Colorado potato farmer who provided the land, Herbert Alonzo Howe, the observatory’s first director and Robert Sawers Roeschlaub, the observatory’s architect.

Kast adds that it was March 1888 when Denver real estate entrepreneur and amateur astronomer, Humphrey Barker Chamberlin, pledged $50,000 to build and equip a world-class observatory on the University of Denver campus.

The program concludes with a tour that includes the cornerstone and historical markers, the library, the transit circle telescope room, the massive foundation and the observatory dome with the colossal Clark/Saegmuller refractor telescope. And Kast says if the weather cooperates, you can look through that telescope.

Bill Kast’s interest in astronomy was sparked by the launch of Sputnik and the early days of space exploration. He got his first telescope at age 10 and has been looking up ever since. He has served on the Denver Astronomical Society’s board for the last three years.


Enrichment Program
University College
University of Denver
2211 S. Josephine St.
Denver, CO 80210
Phone: 303-871-2291

Program contacts:
Lynn Wells, Director

Charles Stillwagon, Program Manager

Phone: 303-871-2291


Quick Links

Enrichment Program Home Page
Registration Policies
Enrichment Brochure
Apply for Scholarship
Sign Up for Enrichment Program Newsletter
University College


Days of the Week Start Date End Date Time Venue Instructor
Friday 22 March 2024 22 March 2024 07:00PM - 09:00PM All Students William Kast