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. Yerkes Observatory is the observing facility of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Chicago and is devoted to research in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as graduate education. As we have indicated in public forums, the University understands that comprehensive plans for Yerkes may require approval by the Village of Williams Bay’s Board of Trustees. A small cloud may have drifted over the future of the historic Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay. “The people who attended made important points for us to consider, and the tone of the discussion was extremely respectful and constructive. 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. A slightly longer than normal (24 minute) Sky at Night, broadcast in March 1988, about the Yerkes Observatory. 6,964 were here. It was operated by the University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics from its founding in 1897 to 2020. Douglas said the views expressed at the meeting will be an important consideration as the University continues to evaluates proposals. It is no longer in operation. Stars at Yerkes teacher Kathleen Roper of Hoyleton Grade School practices a classroom exercise that demonstrates the properties of the light spectrum. “We are deeply grateful to the Village of Williams Bay and the connection this community has to Yerkes,” Dianna Colman said. The University will share any plan for the future of the observatory with the Village of Williams Bay’s Board of Trustees. The Yerkes Future Foundation would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the past two years. Additional information will be made available as appropriate. Read our community guidelines. You can take a picture from a distance but that is all. Ownership was transferred to the non-profit Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) in May, 2020. Apart from the main observatory building and the refracting telescope itself, the land and other structures of the Yerkes campus are the property of the University by virtue of other gifts or direct investments of University resources, and are not subject to the terms of the gift from Charles T. Yerkes. For questions and comments, please contact yerkes@uchicago.edu. The three new residential lots will provide an expanded tax base for the Village of Williams Bay. 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. 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. The meeting followed the University’s announcement in March that it will wind down its activities at Yerkes and formally cease on-site operations by Oct. 1, 2018. All forums . Yerkes Observatory, located on the Williams Bay lakefront, has been part of the Lake Geneva region for more than 120 years, but has been closed to … The Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay opened in 1897. “We remain hopeful that a new long-term steward can continue to support the observatory and its legacy, in keeping with the community’s high regard for that history and the potential for education,” said Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs at UChicago. 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. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. Get answers to your questions about Wisconsin . 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. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. Please use the field below to share your feedback with the University. The university is donating the observatory, several telescopes used to study outer space and 49 acres of surrounding grounds in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, near … Proposals will be confidential at this stage, and the University will continue to share more information with the Village and others as the process unfolds, in coordination with parties who submit proposals. Over the next several months, both organizations will be working closely on all aspects of the proposed transfer. 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. 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. Chicago, IL 60637 More information can be found here. We are excited to begin the next phase of restoration, preservation, programming and research at this historic observatory. It contains the largest refracting telescope (40 inches [1 metre]) in the world. Housed in a six ton, 60-foot … 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. Your message. But access to the night sky at Yerkes Observatory on Geneva Lake is slated to end Oct. 1, for now. On November 30, 1901, astronomer and telescope maker, George Willis Ritchey, observes the heavens through the double slide-plate holder attached to the Yerkes 40-inch Refractor Telescope. The University’s call for Expressions of Interest requests that interested parties submit proposals before June 15. The University continues to evaluate and pursue options for the long-term operation of the Yerkes campus. The observatory, built in the 1890s, has in recent decades been used primarily for education and outreach. In addition to YFF’s global outreach, YFF will also welcome members of the UChicago community to continue their distinct connection with Yerkes. 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. 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. 5640 S. Ellis Avenue The Yerkes Future Foundation would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the past two years. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted. Thanks to the University of Chicago and its many Yerkes employees and scientists through the years, Yerkes has been well-maintained, and our goals include enhancing the magnificence of its structure, telescopes and grounds to continue its historic tourism appeal, and to maximize its educational and scientific potential as a forward-looking inspiration to generations of young scientific hopefuls.”. “We heard loud and clear that people do not want the University to approach this as an ordinary real estate transaction, and we agree,” Douglas said. Both the University and YFF would like to express their appreciation for the support shown by the Yerkes family, the Village of Williams Bay and many educators and scientists. Along with other visitors from around the world, YFF will welcome UChicago scientists, librarians, and students to continue projects and collaboration at Yerkes in the months and years ahead. The University will continue to occasionally operate the telescopes at Yerkes to ensure the Observatory can continue to be used for  research and education, and the large collection of glass photographic plates will continue to be available to researchers by appointment via the department Astronomy and Astrophysics. Sam Dunaiski, the group’s Solar for Good program manager, said a 60-kilowatt array is enough to power the electricity use of … 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. He said the University is looking for proposals that balance a number of priorities, including the need for a sustainable operational model, the interest in continued public programming, and suitable financial terms. Public meeting on May 18, 2018 You two are the best! Yerkes Observatory (/ ˈjɜːrkiːz / YUR-keez) is an astronomical observatory located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.A. University of Chicago Seeks Expressions of Interest in Yerkes Observatory  It's one of the largest telescopes in the world open to the public. Yerkes and its staff require ample time in order to craft, uphold, and ultimately implement a successful, smooth, and productive transition. 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. 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. As the University of Chicago proceeds with talks concerning the future of Yerkes Observatory, one point that has arisen is the potential interest among descendants of Charles T. Yerkes, the philanthropist whose gift first established the observatory in the 1890s. 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. It reflects the commitment of both groups to be responsive to the interests of the Village of Williams Bay community, and the importance of providing a sound foundation for YFF as it prepares to lead Yerkes into the future. The field below to share your feedback with the University continues to and... Everyone for their support and encouragement over the world Bay on Lake in. Past two years from NASA ’ s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy ( SOFIA ).... 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