Boswell Dome Restoration - Doane University

Located in Crete, Nebraska

Scope of Work


Berggren Architects restored the Boswell Observatory Dome.

Project Completion


This project was completed in 2017.

The History

Built in 1883.

The building was constructed in 1883.


Crete, Nebraska

The Boswell Observatory Dome is located in Crete, Nebraska.


Doane University - Boswell Observatory Restoration

In 2015, Berggren Architects was approached for the restoration of the Boswell Observatory Dome at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska.  The observatory was built in 1883 and has been the campus’s oldest extant building since the loss of Merrill Hall to fire in 1969. The building houses nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century scientific equipment of astronomy, weather recording, timekeeping, and surveying. Doane’s original inland time ball, a now-obsolete timekeeping device, is currently housed in the observatory as well. The observatory has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.

Prior to this project, Berggren Architects had done a complete restoration of the observatory in 1993. At some point since, the dome was severely damaged when a painting contractor sandblasted the dome’s fragile metal covering. Berggren Architects worked closely with metalsmiths to recreate the dome in copper. The copper dome will ensure a longer service life and will eliminate the need for painting in the future.