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Xujiahui Observatory was established by Jesuits in July 1872 during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) and started meteorological observations on December 1st,1872.In 1873, several outbuildings were added to the observatory as weather stations. In 1900, a new observatory was built to the west of the main building.
The Xujiahui Observatory is a three-story building. In the middle of its top stood a 40-meter-high anemometer tower made of brick and wood and installed with a Berkeley anemometer.
Assigned by the International Astronomical Union to keep standard time, the observatory joined two international longitude determination operations in 1926 and 1933 and became one of world’s three major benchmark data providers, along with two others in Paris and San Francisco.