Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Bradley Observatory and Delafield Planetarium

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Institution Name: Agnes Scott College
Original/Historic Place Name: Bradley Observatory
Location on Campus: East Hancock St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1951original construction Francis M. Daves & Associates
2000renovation and expansion Warren Epstein Associates
Designer: Francis M. Daves & Associates; Warren Epstein Associates
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Colonial revival, Contemporary, Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: concrete, metal frame, brick veneer
Roof: bitumen, standing seam alumninum
ca. 1951observatory (6-seat planetarium)
ca. 1951faculty offices
ca. 1951classrooms (including seminar room)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (research laboratory)
ca. 2004-present (2006)observatory (80-seat planetarium)
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2006)theater (recital hall)
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms (large theater-type classroom and other seminar room)

The Bradley Observatory was built in 1949, when the study of astronomy was virtually nonexistent in the Southeast. It is situated in a wooded area on the far south side of campus. Renovated in 2000 with the addition of the 70-seat Delafield Planetarium, the facility houses various technical equipment, including a Zeiss Skymaster ZKP-3 projector (one of only nine in the United States), eight Meade ETX-90E Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, six Celestron eight-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, two Meade LX50 eight-inch and 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, the recently modernized and upgraded Beck Telescope, 1930 vintage Cassegrain with 30-inch primary mirror, and the Bradley Radio Telescope (BraT).

The observatory's Celestial Spheres plaza is a carefully scaled representation of the solar system and the Milky Way galaxy. Designed by Agnes Scott astronomy and art professors, the plaza is a mosaic of shades of granite.


Agnes Scott College Alumnae Magazine (Winter 2001).

Dedication of Bradley Observatory and Delafield Planetarium, Agnes Scott College. Program brochure. 2000.

McNair, Walter Edward. Lest We Forget: An Account of Agnes Scott College. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1983.

Sayrs, M. Lee, and Christine S. Cozzens. A Full and Rich Measure. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1990.

Sharp, Leslie N. South Candler Street--Agnes Scott College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1994.


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Last update: November 2006