From Ohio History Central
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Dr. John D. Kraus, a professor of electrical engineering and astronomy at The Ohio State University, designed the Big Ear Radio Telescope. Before constructing the Big Ear Radio Observatory, Kraus constructed a prototype telescope on the roofs of two Ohio State buildings. The prototype cost twenty-three thousand dollars, and its purpose was to detect radio waves in outer space. Kraus hoped that his telescope would help find extraterrestrial life in space. This initial telescope proved successful, and Kraus received funding from numerous sources to construct a larger version of his radio telescope.
The Big Ear Radio Observatory scientists received recognition by the ''Guinness Book of Records'' for conducting the longest search for extraterrestrial life. Unfortunately for the scientists and the Big Ear Radio Telescope, land developers purchased the land that the observatory sat upon in 1983. In 1997, the developers ordered the closure of the observatory, so that they could expand a golf course and construct several hundred homes on the site. The developers demolished the Big Ear Radio Observatory in 1998.