“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Foggy Bottom in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Building 2

Old Naval Observatory (1844)

Building 2 Marker image. Click for full size.
1. Building 2 Marker
Inscription.  This building once housed the U.S. Naval Observatory (1844-1893), the workplace of Navy scientists whose skill and perseverance made this institution one of the finest astronomical laboratories in the world. Here its superintendent, LT Matthew Fontaine Maury, wrote the first textbook on oceanography. As father of this science, Maury published among other works the Wind and Current Charts that revolutionized ocean travel, earning himself the title "Pathfinder of the Seas." In the east wing residence he mapped the under-ocean route for the first transatlantic telegraph cable. In 1877, astronomer Asaph Hall, using the world's largest telescope, discovered the two moons of Mars—Deimos and Phobos—during what has been termed the Observatory's "Golden Age." Through the 1870s and 1880s teams of this institution's astronomers traveled throughout the globe to study solar eclipses and transits of the planet Venus. The U.S. Naval Observatory's master clock, calibrated by celestial observations, became the time standard for the nation. After the Observatory moved to its current location on Massachusetts Avenue in 1893, the building became home
Above Doorway image. Click for full size.
2. Above Doorway
U.S. Naval Medical School
Established May 27th 1902

Building 2
2300 E St., N.W.
to the Naval Museum of Hygiene (1895) and the Naval Medical School (1902). Since 1942, offices of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery have occupied the old Naval Observatory.
Location. 38° 53.708′ N, 77° 3.093′ W. Marker is in Foggy Bottom, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from 23rd Street Northwest south of E Street Northwest, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2300 E Street Northwest, Washington DC 20037, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Benjamin Rush (a few steps from this marker); U.S. Naval Observatory / The Prime Meridian (within shouting distance of this marker); Radford House (within shouting distance of this marker); Building 5 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Department of State (about 500 feet away); Bernardo de Gálvez Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pharmacists' War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Carol Brown Goldberg (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Foggy Bottom.
Categories. Air & SpaceCommunicationsScience & Medicine
Registered National Historic Landmark Plaque image. Click for full size.
3. Registered National Historic Landmark Plaque
Old Naval Observatory

has been designated a
Registered National
Historic Landmark

under the provisions of the
Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935
This site possesses exceptional value
in commemorating and illustrating
the history of the United States

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service


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Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 31, 2018. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 66 times this year. Last updated on January 2, 2019. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 31, 2018. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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