David Fithian, who has led the transfer process for the University of Chicago, said having a successor organization that is dedicated to Yerkes and the community provides an appropriate new chapter for the observatory. The remainder of the proceeds from the sale will help support the future of astronomy and astrophysics at UChicago, including the University’s major investments in the Magellan and Giant Magellan telescopes in Chile. In line with community priorities, the University is not considering any high-density development. She uses equipment from the Active Astronomy Kit from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) project. It was a long busy afternoon but very productive. We are excited to begin the next phase of restoration, preservation, programming and research at this historic observatory. The University also said that the bequest letter only concerns “the main observatory building and refracting telescope.” At the time it did not reveal the names of the Yerkes descendants, “out of respect for the descendants’ wishes.” This is still the University’s most recent statement on its Yerkes Update page as of May 6. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. We recognize that Yerkes means a great deal for many people, and this meeting reflected that.” The University continues to evaluate and pursue options for the long-term operation of the Yerkes campus. A … Students and faculty in the University of Chicago’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics have continued to do educational and research work at Yerkes Observatory in the past year. Stars at Yerkes teacher Kathleen Roper of Hoyleton Grade School practices a classroom exercise that demonstrates the properties of the light spectrum. The meeting will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Williams Bay High School is located at 500 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay, Wis. UChicago representatives speak at village meeting in Williams Bay, Wis. Leaders from the University and YFF discussed terms of the agreement in March at a meeting of the Village of Williams Bay Plan Commission. “We are a small, community-focused foundation,” said YFF Chairwoman Dianna Colman, “but our ambitions for Yerkes are not only local and regional, but national and international. October 1892 October 4, 1892, at Yerkes' office on 444 North Clark Street, Hale presents Yerkes with the opportunity to finance the building of the World’s Largest Telescope.Yerkes is informed of the recognition that James Lick received in founding the Lick Observatory and views the available disks as an opportunity to create a lasting legacy. Douglas said there were a number of themes in the comments, including concern over who might purchase the property, the observatory’s valued role in education programs, and questions about how the University will evaluate proposals. In recent months the University has met and spoken with descendants of Charles T. Yerkes and provided them with the original gift document [available here – see text version here], which involves only the main observatory building and refracting telescope. Throughout this process the University has sought to balance a number of priorities, including the need for a sustainable operational model, the community’s interest in continued public programming, and sustainable financial terms. In April 2018 the University of Chicago, owners of the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, announced that they had no practical use for such an observatory. “We are deeply grateful to the Village of Williams Bay and the connection this community has to Yerkes,” Dianna Colman said. The search for a new owner has been informed by discussions with many stakeholders, including a public meeting about the future of the property held on May 18, 2018. The University will continue to operate the telescopes at Yerkes after the closure to ensure the Observatory can continue to be used for astronomical research and investigation, and the large collection of glass photographic plates will continue to be available to researchers by appointment. It's one of the largest telescopes in the world open to the public. The University of Chicago is in the final steps of a plan to close Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis. to the public as of Oct. 1, 2018. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. Announcement: The Yerkes Future Foundation would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the past two years. At a public meeting held by the Village of Williams Bay, representatives from the University of Chicago took questions from the Village Board of Directors and heard comments from the public about the Yerkes property. “We are delighted that this process is concluding in a way that brings long-term benefits to the Williams Bay community and future visitors to Yerkes, while serving the future of astronomy and astrophysics research and education at the University of Chicago,” said Fithian. We will post updates to this site as they become available. No buyer came forward, so they shut the doors to the public on October 1, 2018. The Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay opened in 1897. For questions and comments, please contact yerkes@uchicago.edu. Unless a buyer came forward, they would close the observatory. As part of this effort, the University will continue ongoing talks about the observatory’s future with interested parties, including representatives of Charles T. Yerkes’ descendants, the Village of Williams Bay, and the Yerkes Future Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Williams Bay. Yerkes Observatory (/ ˈjɜːrkiːz / YUR-keez) is an astronomical observatory located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.A. After that time, they will be operated by Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM, Inc. and will no longer be supported by the University of Chicago. In addition to YFF’s global outreach, YFF will also welcome members of the UChicago community to continue their distinct connection with Yerkes. YFF’s objectives include restoration and refurbishing of the telescopes and building, reopening the space for visitors and establishing educational, research, seminars and various additional opportunities for students, astronomers, astrophysicists and others. In late April the University posted a call for expressions of interest from those wishing to articulate a vision for the observatory’s future, including potential owners. More than 300 people came to the public meeting in Williams Bay, with questions and comments from about 30 individuals and 42 written comment cards. All forums . The University of Chicago, which had announced plans to close the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay in March, made it official Monday by ceasing operations, locking gates and closing to the public. For more than 120 years astronomers and astrophysicists from around the world did just that on the shores of Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin at the Yerkes Observatory… As part of the process to engage the community about the future of the Yerkes property, the University of Chicago will hold a public meeting at Williams Bay High School on Friday, May 18, 2018. This deadline extension would provide both the observatory and the University 18 months in which to locate and discuss specific details with a new entity in preparation to take over operations of Yerkes. The University of Chicago this week will transfer ownership of Yerkes Observatory and related property located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin to the Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF). “Our hope is to maintain and develop this beautiful and important observatory as a jewel in the crown of this community for generations to come.”. Thus, the marketing and sale of the lakefront property will create vital seed funding for YFF’s startup operations and sustained fiscal health, in addition to the University’s initial monetary donation. A small group of Geneva Lake residents formed the Yerkes Future Foundation in 2018, shortly after the University’s announcement that it would seek a new long-term steward for the observatory. Inquiries concerning these programs should be directed to GLAS Education (email: info@glaseducation.org, website: https://www.glaseducation.org). The Yerkes Observatory, arguably the birthplace of modern astrophysics, is an astronomical observatory of the University of Chicago in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. 5640 S. Ellis Avenue The Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis. is now closed to the public. YFF is dedicated to restoring the great, historic observatory as a monument to American achievements in astronomy and as an operating scientific and educational institution capable of carrying Yerkes’ contributions into the future. After that time, they will be operated by Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM, Inc. and will no longer be supported by the University of Chicago. University of Chicago to transfer of ownership of Yerkes Observatory to Yerkes Future Foundation. The University's most recent prior update about Yerkes, posted on their Yerkes Updates page on August 15, concerned educational programming at the observatory. 773.702.7950. Yerkes Proposal Process - PDF. More information can be found here. The University of Chicago and the Yerkes Future Foundation have released the following joint statement: The University of Chicago and the Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) are pleased to announce an agreement in principle for transfer of ownership of Yerkes Observatory and related property located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin to the Yerkes Future Foundation. Housed in a six ton, 60-foot … Wisconsin forums . The three new residential lots will provide an expanded tax base for the Village of Williams Bay. The University of Chicago ended public access in October 2018. Educational outreach programs previously offered through the University of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory will move from the observatory after September 30, 2018 to a new location in Williams Bay, WI. This is to be followed by an additional cash donation by the University, drawing on proceeds from the planned sale of three rezoned parcels of University-owned lakefront property, for which the University’s applications are currently pending with the Village. The transfer to YFF will mark the conclusion of the University’s historic affiliation with Yerkes, allowing the University to make further investments in the future of the field, including projects such as the Giant Magellan Telescope. Please use the field below to share your feedback with the University. 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