The Elgin School District U-46 Planetarium at 312 Watch St. opened its doors in September 1963 for students to learn about astronomy under the dome. It was built to serve the burgeoning U-46 population during the space race that eventually landed us on the Moon. It is an addition to the back of the original part of the building, the 1909 Elgin National Watch Company Observatory. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Many developed a lifelong interest in astronomy (and some careers in the field) that can be traced back to the U-46 planetarium. Since 1963 more than 1 million students have been mesmerized by the majesty of the night sky during lessons at the planetarium.
The building is occasionally open to the public for sky shows in the evening during the school year. Dates are listed in Public Sky Shows or in the quick links to the right.
The Observatory/Planetarium building is not open in the summer months. No programs are scheduled, but check back in August for information on school groups visits and public events. Call (847) 888-5019 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Click here for THE PLANETARIUM PORTAL: the site for teachers, students and parents during remote learning
Public Sky Show on Zoom was May 18, 2021 @ 6:00pm. Click here to watch a video recording of the program featuring the planets, eclipses, and stars in the summer 2021 sky.
Pedaling Preservation-Elgin Blog
By Kim Bauer, architectural preservationist