Observatories and Early Astronomy Clubs
Interest in astronomy was strong, so setting up telescopes in public was regularly done. Today, these events are usually called star parties, where the public is invited to come to a park, museum, or other site to look through telescopes often staffed by amateur astronomers. Perhaps, one of the best known of these groups is the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers, started by the late John Dobson.
Many astronomy clubs, colleges/universities, museums/science centers, and even private individuals have observatories: a permanent housing for their telescope or telescopes. A number of these open for the public on regular occasions, or for special astronomical events like an eclipse or when a planet is in the position for optimum viewing.