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Public Tours

Observatory from the outside

Reservations are required and available at Eventbrite or by calling 412-321-2400.

Tours run most Thursdays and Fridays through August 2024. 

The long running public tour program provides a delightful introduction to the observatory. 

Although the observatory is located in a public park the building is owned and operated by the University of Pittsburgh.  The observatory is a private research laboratory and therefore not always open to the public.

Tours of the building are offered April through the end of October.  The reason for this is the tour group spends a considerable part of the tour inside the telescope domes where the temperature the same as the outdoor air.  During the winter months the cold air can be a problem for most people.  Even in the summer months clear nights can be quite chilly, dress warmly.

The Thursday night tours will be held from April through the end of August and the Friday night tours will be held from April through October.  All tours begin at 8 p.m. and last until approximately 10 p.m.  A short presentation is shown followed by a walking tour of the building finally ending up at the 13" Fitz-Clark refractor.  If it's a clear night you would be shown whatever celestial objects are within range of the telescope that night.

The tours are free of charge, but you must have a reservation.  To make a reservation use Eventbrite or call 412-321-2400. If you call and do not get an answer, please leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call as soon as possible, in some cases we may not be able to return your call until the next business day.  If the tour is not full you can make reservations up to the day of the tour, however no reservations will be accepted after 5:00 p.m.  Group or individual reservations are acceptable with a maximum group size of 45.  We do not put any age restrictions on the tours, but we do recommend that children under the age of seven be left at home, generally their attention span is too short and they can be disruptive to the rest of the group.  Directions

Tour rules:  Please do not enter any areas that are marked employees only.  Do not open any doors that are closed.  Do not go into any areas that the lights are not on.  You must stay with the group at all times, wandering around the building is not permitted.  


This historic building is partially handicapped accessible. Please call if you have any questions.