During a mayor and council meeting on January 27th in Gaithersburg, discussion was held to review plan ideas for Observatory Park, the city’s only national historic landmark. MoCo
Observatory Park along with observatories in California, Ohio, Italy, Japan and Uzbekistan performed coordinated star observations to investigate the degree of the wobble of the Earth in an effort to aid navigation. The study was begun in 1898 and the sites chosen all lay along the same latitude. While operating, Observatory Park tracked the movements of six pairs of stars with the use of a reflecting telescope inside a specially made observation building. The data was compared with the other locations and helped scientists study the geophysical make-up of the earth.
The park was in operation from 1899- 1982, when satellites replaced human observations, yet it is still in use with GPS systems relying on survey markers put in place to make course corrections for the satellites. The park’s observatory building, the meridian mark pier and five geodetic monuments within the park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and were fully restored in the1980’s. Restoration included a path between the observatory and the pier representing the Earth’s motion, keeping the scientific history of the park in the foreground.
Gaithersburg’s council is ready and excited to add new parking, including more disabled parking spaces and a designated bus turn out, so larger groups can visit the park with ease. This is great news for school field trips and science lovers alike. Other plans to bring more visitors were reviewed and welcomed by the council, such as backyard concerts, stargazing nights, informative presentations and more.
While final plans are still being made, there is excitement in the air toward what the one National Historic Landmark in Gaithersburg can bring to the community. Excited to learn more about MoCo? My website has a ton of information for you as well. You can sign up for a FREEmonthly report on the sales trends and statistics for your community, search the entire MLSdatabase, or just click on the area you are interested in: Bethesda, NorthPotomac, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Boyds, Clarksburg, or MontgomeryCounty. Either way, I am always here to serve!