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Blue Hill Observatory Closing Down For $2 Million Renovation

The Blue Hill Observatory, pictured in March 2015. Planned renovations include a new concrete wall, weatherproofing, new ceilings, new windows and asbestos removal. (Simón Rios/WBUR)
The Blue Hill Observatory, pictured in March 2015. Planned renovations include a new concrete wall, weatherproofing, new ceilings, new windows and asbestos removal. (Simón Rios/WBUR)

The Blue Hill Observatory located in a 113-year-old concrete tower in the Blue Hills Reservation is closed this summer for a $2 million renovation, its first major upgrade since 1999.

The changes include a new concrete wall, weatherproofing, new ceilings, new windows and asbestos removal, officials said, all paid for through a state Department of Conservation and Recreation grant.

One thing will not change, however. Weather observers "won't miss a beat," Executive Director Charles Orloff told The Patriot Ledger.

The equipment on the roof of the three-story observatory tower is being temporarily moved, but there is no chance the construction will break Blue Hill's streak as the longest continuous weather observation center in the United States, Blue Hill Observatory President William Minsinger Minsinger said.

The observatory on the Canton-Milton line, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was opened as a private weather research station by Abbott Lawrence Rotch in 1885. The current building went up in 1908 and daily weather observation and research have been conducted from the tower ever since.

Because of the work, the observatory will be closed to the public, but work should be completed by next summer.

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