Letter by H C Russell, 8 September 1870

Letter by H C Russell, 8 September 1870
Letter by H C Russell, 8 September 1870


Government Observatory
Sydney September 8th 1870


In reference to the proposed dedication of the land adjacent to the Observatory to the City Corporation for the use of the Citizens, I have the honor to report.
(1) The area proposed to be set apart for the Observatory is not sufficient even for its present requirements. From experiments made for the purpose of ascertaining the effect of the buildings on some of the Meteorological Instruments I am convinced that there is no position in the proposed area free from such influence and it is impossible to say now what may be the space required by the Observatory in the future, especially when a large telescope which is essential to the proper equipment of the Observatory is added to the Instruments now in use.

The Government in Victoria have wisely placed their Observatory in the Public Gardens where there is room to carry on scientific observations and I would suggest that as far as possible the same course should be adopted here by making the land adjacent to the Observatory into a Public Garden so that the Citizens may have the use of it without injury to the Observatory.

(2) If it should be dedicated to the Public and handed over to the City Corporation any additional accommodation for the Observatory can only be obtained by moving it which will cost at least 10000.
(3) In the year 1862 or 1863 the Director of the Botanical Gardens in accordance with instructions, prepared plans for converting Flagstaff Hill into a Public Garden and he expresses his willingness now to carry out those plans if a small sum be granted annually for the purpose.
(4) The Flagstaff Hill has been used for some years as a place to drill and assemble the Naval Brigade, and I would suggest that before the reserve is dedicated the matter should be referred to Capt Hixon for his report, especially since the present aspect of European affairs seems to render the possession of a site commanding a large part of the town & harbor of great importance.

I have the honor to be
Your Obedient Servant
H. C. Russell
Govt Astronomer

The Principal
Under Secretary