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A Pioneering Astrophysicist's Private Observatory Hidden in an L.A.-area Backyard

Well, this is a cool tale: On an upscale residential street between the Huntington Library and Caltech in Pasadena, California, tucked behind "a pure 1980s teardown," is a solar observatory built in the 1920s for George Ellery Hale, the Egyptophile astronomer who helped found the Mt. Wilson Observatory, was a driving force behind the development of modern astrophysics, discovered magnetic fields in sunspots, and convinced railroad magnate Henry Huntington to open his gardens up to the common folk. This incredible relic is now in the hands of husband-and-wife architectural duo Stefanos Polyzoides and Liz Moule (of the firm Moule & Polyzoides), who bought the little observatory and the "ugly, stupid" house that fronts the property because they were fascinated by Hale's incredible personal lab.

Curbed LA has the full story and more photos. >>