Walls, Roof, Action!

June 8 -- crew shows up, puts in door, window, and starts clapboarding the
"dome" building.  Here's a view from the northwest (north-by-northwest?),
showing the typical detritus of the construction site. 

Working on the South wall and roof

Mostly clapboarded on the south side -- and you can see where the removable
panel (below the opening) will permit us to use the roof as a crane, to bring
the telescope in, in sedan-chair manner.

The gang watching as the roof rolls north

The roof, which by the way weighs 3 1/2 tons, has been rolled north (using a
"come-along" -- no motor drive, yet), exposing the 6-ft wide slot that lets us
observe down to -20 degrees declination; it will be covered by an overlapping
panel that moves down, by motor, on a pair of vertical tracks.  At this point
there are lots of clapboards in place, but the roof has yet to arrive -- all
you see here is its plywood nailing board.

"First Phase" Complete!

Mid-June, 2001: The beautiful forest-green tin roof is on, the siding is
complete, and the control room is framed up.  Ready for electrical work, roof
drive mechanism, and south slot door assembly.  Then it's ready for occupancy,
e.g. of a telescope.  We'll try to get some interior shots, in the meantime,
to keep you websurfers happy...

Our Sponsors Visit the Site

On July 2, a brilliant sunny day, we had a visit from the friendly folks at
The Planetary Society and The Bosack-Kruger Foundation; here's the small group,
right to left: Kathy Savesky (B/K), Robert Stefanik (Observatory Director),
Dan Geracia (TPS), and my son Misha (Swarthmore '03).  He's been playing a lot
of competitive frisbee, and needs to lean on the steel beam, which is ample for
the task.

Interior View

Here's a shot looking down from a stepladder at the southeast corner; you can
see the telescope pier in the foreground, and the framing for the control room,
with cutouts for a door and two windows between it and the telescope room.  You
can see, also, that the observatory is really a steel building in wood clothing.

The Roof is a Crane!

Looking up a bit, you can see that the roof structure is really overbuilt, with
a few tons of load-carrying capacity to spare.  We will use it as a crane, to
bring the telescope in over the south threshold.  That's why the tracks for the
roof overhang the south wall by a few feet.

Telescope Pier

Our happy sponsors are delighted they didn't break any legs hopping down into
the concrete pier for the telescope.  There's another few tons of concrete below
where they are standing; should be enough to support a 1/2-ton telescope...

South View

Here's a shot looking south, between studs, from the control room.  The large
"picture window" opening enables observations in the southern sky; it will have
a moving door arrangement.  You can see the south edge of the telescope pier.
Misha's looking wistful -- rather be down south, at college, playing more frisbee.

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