Buffalo Museum of Science: Astronomical Observatory Dome Renovation

Buffalo, NY, USA
Year Completed
Building Type
2,200 sq. ft.
Buffalo Museum of Science

The Buffalo Museum of Science was looking to improve its Astronomy Program and engaged HHL Architects in the restoration of its Astronomical Observatory Dome. The dome was in serious disrepair, no longer opening or rotating. Working with Ash Manufacturing Company, a specialist in observatory domes, HHL replaced it with a state of the art, electronically operated observatory dome. In addition, HHL made the dome ADA Accessible so the museum can fully utilize the observatory and existing roof deck to hold astrological demonstrations and other museum functions for visitors.

In making the dome ADA Accessible, the communicating stair to the observatory and roof deck was a narrow spiral staircase that was difficult to navigate. To improve safety and ease visitor circulation, HHL removed the communicating stair and its roof penthouse, and replaced it with a new roof penthouse that contains a wider communicating stair and a Limited Use/Limited Access Elevator.