“Prais’d be the fathomless universe,” Walt Whitman exulted on the pages of Leaves of Grass in 1856 as he was becoming Brooklyn’s most beloved artist. “New York City ought to have its Observatory,” The New York Times wrote in an impassioned op-ed that winter, extolling this “laudable aspiration” which citizens “have long cherished, and will not lightly abandon,” and proclaiming that “we shall yet have New-York observations made in a New-York Observatory.”

Pioneer Works is building New York City’s first-ever public observatory — a labor of love quietly underway, determined to redeem the six failed attempts that other dream-builders have made in the past century and a half. In a neighborhood graced with the lowest possible light pollution in New York City, in a culture needful of the cosmic perspective, we are proud to be building a dome of possibility for generations to come, devoted to education and enchantment, democratizing the science and the poetics of the universe, and making, in Whitman’s words, “all spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets” available to “all souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different.”