Adler Planetarium


Picture 4.png

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When did the Adler first open?
A: May 12, 1930 was the Adler’s opening date, and Max Adler's 64th birthday.

Q: What is the building made of?
A: The exterior of the twelve-sided polygon (dodecagon) original building is made of St. Cloud (Minnesota) Rainbow Granite. The granite from the 1929 construction and the 1999 Sky Pavilion both came from the same vein in a Cold Spring, Minnesota quarry. They match perfectly!  The dome is copper. The front doors are bronze and nickel bronze set with beveled glass. The setting sun shines through the beveled glass, which refracts the rays creating a rainbow effect in the Main Lobby. 

Q: How tall is the building?
A: The original building sits on a terrace several feet above ground level. From the sidewalk to the top of the original dome is just under 90-feet. There have been several additions and modifications to the museum over its lifetime, above ground and underground. The most significant addition, the Sky Pavilion, is a 60,000-square foot glass and steel structure that opened in 1999. Many of the offices and research quarters at the Adler are literally under the road leading to the planetarium.  All areas of the Adler add up to just over 145,500 square feet. Impress your friends when you tell them that there are 1,387 separate pieces of glass on the upper level of the Sky Pavilion. 

Q: What is planetarium's historical significance?
A: It was the first modern planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and houses one of the world's finest collections of antique astronomical instruments including sundials, telescopes, astrolabes and more. Some of the oldest artifacts date back to the twelfth century. You can learn more about our collection on our collections page.