Famed Blue Hill Observatory Reopens to Public

Ben Ruhe
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In continuous operation since 1885, the Blue Hill Observatory near Boston had a rebirth this spring as a weather museum and science center. After a $1.3 million renovation, it reopened to the public with private educational foundation status. Blue Hill almost from its inception had been associated with Harvard University but that connection was severed some years ago in a cost-cutting move by the university.

The oldest continuously operating weather observatory in the U.S. and a National Historic Landmark since 1989, Blue Hill willed itself a perfect day for its celebration. There was literally not a cloud in the sky. There was a panoramic view of the whole of central Massachusetts. Absolutely perfect weather.

Among the many thousands attending the day-long event-invitees, hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, throngs drawn by live television coverage of the doings-was Scott Skinner, president of the Drachen Foundation and new member of the Blue Hill Board of Directors. Drachen is contributing to the refurbishment of the observatory's kite shed, a reconstruction of the historic building from which early weather instruments were flown by large Eddy and Hargrave-style kites to heights of over 12,000 feet.

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