The Lamont Hussey Observatory

Case Study

(Sterrewag Theater), situated on Naval Hill (Franklin Nature Reserve) in Bloemfontein.

The observatory located at the top of Bloemfontein’s iconic Naval Hill is called the Lamont-Hussey Observatory, after the two men behind the creation of this great building – W.J Hussey and R.P Lamont.
These two engineers from Michigan in America dreamt of constructing an observatory in the Southern Hemisphere, deciding on Bloemfontein, South Africa as an ideal spot.

The observatory opened on 28 April 1928. Due to economic setbacks, the observatory was closed in 1974.

The Observatory was converted into an intimate theater in the 1970s.

In 1998, when the Observatory was still used as an intimate theater, the management of the theater experience problems with the large concrete dome and flat concrete roof to the foyer of the building that was leaking profusely.

A coating of White BULLDOGSEAL Waterproofing simultaneously sealed the leaks in the dome and the foyer while providing a decorative coating to the building. The project was completed in 1998 and an inspection in 2007 showed no signs of deterioration.

Today the Observatory has returned to its roots. It is now the first digital planetarium in Sub Saharan Africa, carrying the name of Naval Hill Planetarium.

lamontAerial observatory

Observatory Construction-DrawingBlack white pic of observatory

SterrewagPhoto