The Lick Observatory was completed in 1888 and continues to be an active astronomy research
facility at the summit of Mount Hamilton, near San Jose, California. It is named after James
Lick (1796-1876), who left $700,000 in 1875 to purchase land and build a facility that would
be home to "a powerful telescope, superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet
made". The completion of the Great Lick Refractor in 1888 made the observatory home to the
largest refracting telescope in the world for 9 years, until the completion of the 40-inch
refractor at Yerkes Observatory in 1897. Since its founding in 1887, the Lick Observatory
facility has provided on-site housing on Mount Hamilton for researchers, their families, and
staff, making it the world's oldest residential observatory.
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