Accessibility | Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

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Morehead building exterior

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a unit of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). UNC provides downloadable maps in PDF format to help visitors locate accessibility features on the UNC campus:

Morehead has posted its Policy on Non-Discrimination online for reference.

Morehead's Visitor Guide includes maps of all public areas in Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, including the location of stairs, elevators, restrooms and other building features. This is available for download as a PDF file (file size is 1.9MB):

Morehead welcomes requests from guests with special needs and/or requests for accommodations.

Contact Information


Spaces are designated directly in front of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to provide parking for persons with disabilities. Curb cuts provide access to sidewalks, which are primarily brick throughout the UNC campus.

The parking lot at Morehead is operated by UNC and served by a gate attendant during business hours.


Morehead's primary entrance is on the north side of the building and is marked by "Main Entrance" and "Gift Shop" signs:

  • Faces the parking lot, the sundial and Franklin Street.
  • Serves Morehead's gift shop and GSK Fulldome Theater
  • Provides ramp, hand rails, push-button door entry, accessible restroom within 15 feet of entrance (left side)

Morehead's west entrance faces UNC's McCorkle Place and is marked by wide, shallow steps and two-story-tall columns:

  • Serves Morehead's Lower Exhibit Gallery, Rotunda, Science Stage, South Gallery, classrooms and State Dining Room
  • Serves the UNC Visitors Center
  • Provides ramp (south side of steps), hand rails, push-button door entry, wheelchair that can be borrowed during Morehead visits and elevator (accessible restrooms are one floor below the UNC Visitor Center and adjacent to the Lower Exhibit Gallery)

Morehead's east entrance faces UNC's Coker Arboretum:

  • Serves Morehead-Cain Foundation offices and Morehead Observatory (operated by UNC's department of physics and astronomy)
  • Provides ramp, hand rails and elevator

Assistive Listening Devices

Morehead offers headsets for assisted listening during educational programming. These devices are available for use in the GSK Fulldome Theater, Science Stage, Blue Classroom, Green Classroom and South Gallery Classroom.

If you wish to use assistive listening in the GSK Fulldome Theater, please inform the cashier at least 15 minutes before your planetarium show time.

If you wish to use assistive listening during programs in the Science Stage or a classroom, please inform the Morehead staff member leading the program at least 10 minutes before the program begins.

There is no charge to use these assistive listening devices for Morehead programming.


Sign language interpretation and/or cued speech may be available through UNC's Department of Disability Services. Please contact Morehead Guest Relations two weeks before your visit to request this service.

Accessibility Challenges

Constructed in 1949 and never having had a major renovation, the Morehead Building can present challenges to individuals with mobility issues. The below-ground areas of the building were not built to modern accessibility standards.

The public hallway that connects Morehead's primary entrance and the building's west wing is a below-ground hallway. The only way to reach this below-ground hallway is to descend a flight of stairs.

The below-ground hallway is nicknamed the History Hallway because, in addition to restrooms and a vending machine area, it contains two non-interactive exhibits about Morehead's history:

  • a display of telescopes and other equipment used by astronomy students in the first years that the University of North Carolina was open
  • a display of photographs, artifacts and memorabilia from Morehead's service as a NASA astronaut training center during the 1960s and 1970s

Persons who cannot reach the History Hallway may view pictures of the items and display panels in these exhibits. The pictures are printed on laminated cards bound on rings. One set is in the gift shop, hanging on a hook by the doorway to the stairs. Another set is in a clear plastic wall pocket near the Lower Exhibit Gallery and stairs leading down to the History Hallway.

The building's west wing houses the Science Stage, Morehead Rotunda, Lower Exhibit Gallery and UNC Visitor Center. For visitors who cannot traverse stairs, the best option to reach the building's west wing is to exit the building, follow the sidewalks to the building's west entrance and use the ramp to enter the west wing.


More Info

Adam Phelps

Assistant Director of Development