This second-floor, indoor/outdoor exhibition space features spectacular views of the Bay and San Francisco’s northern waterfront, as well as its urban, downtown cityscape. The Bay Observatory uses these views as an entry point for investigations of the history and dynamic processes in the local landscape, and the human impact.
The exhibits, artworks, and instruments here probe the environment from multiple perspectives, such as physical and geographic sciences, ecology, astronomy, history, and contemporary experience. A small browsing library of maps and books from the past and present helps visitors explore ideas that shape the Bay Area.
The Bay Observatory also introduces visitors to the process of observation, and the tools and methods scientists use to gather information about the world around us. Some instruments like cameras and telescopes help us observe the landscape directly, while other exhibits present live or archived data or, visualizations, and eventually video streams, creating a picture of our surroundings that we otherwise might never see.
Susan Schwartzenberg, Curator