11. Moving north, we enter the north foyer area and the "grand staircase" leading upstairs to the observing chamber.
MORE HISTORY: Recht drew a crowd not only by means of his profession, but also a sense of humor. He would sprinkle jokes in his lectures -- everything from dreadful puns like, "I asked the Dog Star if he was fooling around or if he was really Sirius," to comparing the purity of the solar system, in terms of solar mass, to the purity of hand soap [ since 99 44/100 percent of the Solar System's mass is in the Sun]. As Recht himself admitted, sometimes his humor got the better of him. On one cloudy night, Dr. Recht swung the telescope around to focus on the warning light on top of the KLZ radio tower. "I told them they were looking at Mars, the Red Planet. Afterwards I felt guilty about it because a lot of them actually believed me." Through his public lectures and numerous articles in the Rocky Mountain News, Recht became known as, "...a man of science with a common touch."
In 1946, Recht wrote a proposal for the restoration of Chamberlin. He recommended the establishment of two apartments in the basement of the Observatory. Revenue from these apartments was to be used to help pay for further renovations. Although the idea of apartments was never accepted, Recht continued to fight for the preservation of the Observatory.
During his tenure at DU, Dr. Recht also taught a course in general astronomy for which his text, "Astronomy for the Joneses" was used. Recht continued as Director of the Observatory until his death in 1962. Local newspapers noted his contributions to popular astronomy, writing, "He would far rather have discovered a new mind than a new comet."
Home, Previous image, Next image.