Erected circa 1840 by/for UNC professor Elisha Mitchell, it was used as an observatory and meteorological laboratory.
1896 (photo by Collier Cobb, via UNC)
1897 (photo by Collier Cobb, via UNC)
The scientific and astronomy instruments Joseph Caldwell had purchased in Europe in 1824 that were in the original observatory were installed in this observatory by Mitchell.
"The Old Telescopes as they are To-day in the Mitchell Observatory" (Drawing by E. L. Harris, 1896)
A description from Some Beginnings in Science, by Collier Cobb. (Popular Science Monthly, Volume 49, October 1896):
"Observations were...continued by Dr. Elisha Mitchell in the attic of the large wooden building which he used as a chemical and metallurgical laboratory. In each end of the attic were two large windows, and in the roof eight others, four on either side. These observations were continued until the summer of 1857, when Prof. Mitchell lost his life upon the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, the mountain which bears his name."