Building Again

Demolition of the unused, oldest parts of the observatory made way for a new parking lot, a new Welcome Center/Gift Shop, a workshop and a future auditorium/planetarium.

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut, Martz/Kohl Board of Directors

We are Building… Again! The final pieces of “Marshall Martz’s Dream” are finally coming true. Martz-Kohl is now temporarily closed for this last phase of construction. We are scheduled to reopen in a month, even bigger and better. (Projected reopening, week 3 of September.)

The Martz-Kohl Observatory has grown over the years from a hilltop outpost with a dedicated staff operating one outstanding, handcrafted telescope, to a fully functional, state-of-the-art astronomical observatory with two additional research-grade telescopes, and a greatly expanded facility.

Last week the last dilapidated remnants of the old outpost were finally demolished. They had served their purposes well for many decades and reached the end of their lifespan, finally beyond repair.

All of Martz-Kohl’s expansions and improvements in recent years have been accomplished through the generosity of our members, guest donations, membership dues, and grants from a long list of local contributors. See below.

Martz-Kohl is an all-volunteer, non-profit (501(c)(3) corporation which employs no paid staff. All contributions are applied to operating and capital expenses only. Our ongoing mission is to learn, educate and inspire the public about the wonders of the universe.

We wish to thank the thousands of guests and the many students who have visited from local schools, colleges and universities, as well as travelers who have come to see us from such distant places as California and Florida, Spain and Sweden, and even more remote locations around the world.

The contributors and partners to whom the Marshall Martz Memorial Astronomical Association and the Martz-Kohl Observatory owe our most sincere gratitude over the years (total value nearly $1.2 million) include 30 local industries and corporations, and:

  • Carnahan-Jackson Foundation
  • Chautauqua Region Community Foundation
  • Dr. R. Kohl
  • E. L. Danielson Community Service Fund
  • Hultquist Foundation
  • Lenna Foundation
  • Marshall and Mary Martz
  • Member Contributions
  • Sheldon Foundation Employees
  • State of New York
  • T. A. Buttafaro Community Service Fund
  • T. H. Brown Fund

A schedule of coming events and more can be found at

For a deeper look at the night sky, planets, stars and the entire universe, visit the Martz/Kohl Observatory online at , check the schedule of events and visit in person. Thank you to Hall and Laury Opticians for sponsoring these Martz/Kohl column.

Previous articleResearching Your Shaker Ancestors
Next articleReconnect 2018 Fun For All Ages!
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.