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Dome construction was led by John
Mahony, Russ Kaspar, and Bill Hayward, with additional help from Dan
Malone, George Wyncott, Ed Harfmann, Terry Steadham, John "J.T."
Holman, Hoppy Bray, Jerry Seager, Jay Simmons, Doug Dieter, David
Kaspar, Raphael Torres, Jeff Wieland, and Susan Kaspar.
Construction started very similar to the
roll-off buildings: a square building with a frame based on 4X4 posts
sunk a few
feet into the ground. A trench was dug from the binopole for
Then floor joists were installed, except
the center, and a form and rebar cage for the center pier (18"
square, 4' deep, with about 2' more above ground) was
built. Concrete was poured for the posts and pier, and then the
center joists were added. 3/4" plywood was used for the
and the wall framing was covered with OSB panels. Triangular
plywood panels were added on top in the corners as the base for the
roof corners, leaving (at this point) an octagonal opening for the dome.
This shows the partially constructed new building at the south (upper
left) part of the
observatory grounds, south of the binopole at center.
Then small plywood pieces were added to
convert the octagonal roof opening to a circle, the roof corners were
material, the roof ring for the dome was
built on top, and then steel siding was added, and a wheelchair ramp
The base building is done except for steel siding in front and the door.
With the last steel siding and a door:
In the center, a temporary structure
was built on the pier to mark the
center at rooftop height.
This was actually added before the
roof ring was added, as an aid in
making sure the ring was properly circular and centered.
Building the base building was easy, since we had done it before.
But building the dome itself lived up to its reputation for