Sunday, September 15, 2013

Abandoned Knightridge Space Observatory, Bloomington, Indiana

 Abandoned in the woods near Bloomington Indiana, this old space observatory is slowly fading into ruin.  Long since abandoned because of its location, this strange relic stands guard in an empty lot outside town.

Approaching the building, through the woods.
Located outside of Bloomington Indiana, this building once housed a fairly large telescope.  While this structure is now in a fairly built up area, when it was built in 1936-1937, it was in a very remote place. 

Front door, outside.

Front door, from the inside.
The building is a cylindrical in shape, made of brick, with a wooden dome roof.  The walls are quite thick, and second floor is constructed of wood.

Stairs to the second floor.
Second floor platform.  This space is VERY VERY rotten.
Barrel-style roof, all constructed of wood planks.
Opening for the telescope aperture.  The optics are of course long gone.
Sometime in the 1960s, the building was stripped of its telescopes and mounts.  They were shipped to New Jersey for installation in the Paul Robinson Observatory.  Based on published statistics, this must have been quite a task, as the hardware was seven foot in diameter and weighed over 8,000 pounds.  I believe this was due to "light pollution" from the neighboring developments, something which would have rendered the telescope useless. 

One roller bearing of several that supports the dome.
The whole roof of the building was designed to rotate, so that the opening could be aimed it its target.  To accomplish this, the dome is actually sitting on rollers.  They are long rusted in place.

Power mechanism for the dome.
Another shot of the rotten second floor.
Unusual vandalism.  I was never a Beyonce fan myself, or Bayonce for that matter.
External junction box.

Power source near roof of building.

Internal breaker box, long disused.
Another exterior shot of the building.

The sliding door that used to protect the vision port from damage was damaged by a falling log.
The offending log, leaning against the brick building.
To keep up with a post, be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on blogger.  Thank you again!


  1. Enjoyed the post, very nice. Good photos.

  2. has photos of the 1965 removal of the telescope mount from Knightridge. Click
    David Nelson

    1. Excellent..thank you. I'm moving your link up in to the post...