About the Drake Municipal Observatory

The Drake Municipal Observatory is operated jointly by the City of Des Moines and Drake University. It is located on the grounds of the Waveland Golf Course (4908 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311) at the highest point in Des Moines.


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It is open to the public during our Public Night series held on Friday nights in spring, summer and fall.

The observatory contains an eight and a half inch refracting telescope which was built in 1894 and donated by Francis Marion Drake, the namesake of Drake University. The observatory was built in 1920-21 and was made possible due to the cooperation of the City of Des Moines and Drake University. While the city supplied the land and the funds to build the observatory, the university provided the scientific instruments and staff. 

University News
August 20, 2014
The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) announced the selection of Courtney Howell as the August 2014 Iowa AmeriCorps Member of the Month.
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