For over 100 years, residents of Christchurch, New Zealand were blessed to have access an operational, world-class telescope right in the heart of the city. The telescope was built in 1864 by Thomas Cooke and Sons of York, England, one of the best instrument designers of the time. It was then gifted to Canterbury College, as it was called back then, in 1891. The Townsend Observatory was constructed and opened in 1896. Since then, regular viewing was open to the public — until a 7.1 earthquake struck Canterbury on September 4, 2010.