All forums . Some of the educational programs previously offered at the observatory have moved to UChicago's campus in Chicago and a new local organization, Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM,  has plans to operate some programs at a new location in Williams Bay, not affiliated with UChicago. Out of respect for the descendants’ wishes, the University agreed not to disclose their names and connection at the time. 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. And so, for about $300,000, the world’s largest telescope was built and Yerkes Observatory was founded in 1897. 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. 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. Since then, the University has issued a call for proposals for the future of Yerkes, and engaged in talks over the summer with parties interested in the property. University of Chicago to transfer of ownership of Yerkes Observatory to Yerkes Future Foundation. May 1st, 2020 - The Yerkes Future Foundation would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the past two years. Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted. The university is donating the observatory, several telescopes used to study outer space and 49 acres of surrounding grounds in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, near … 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. Closed/Pending transfer in principle - Yerkes Observatory - The birthplace of modern astrophysics. It was created in 1897 by George Ellery Hale and financed by Charles T. Yerkes. 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. Speakers at that meeting expressed support for the observatory’s educational programs, along with concerns about the potential for high-density residential development on the site. Your message. Leaders from the University and YFF discussed terms of the agreement in March at a meeting of the Village of Williams Bay Plan Commission. 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 Future Foundation would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the past two years. In addition to YFF’s global outreach, YFF will also welcome members of the UChicago community to continue their distinct connection with Yerkes. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. “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. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. 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. Unless a buyer came forward, they would close the observatory. According to RENEW Wisconsin’s grant announcement, the 75 panels awarded to Yerkes Observatory are expected to generate 60 kilowatts of electricity. 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.”. Dividing the lakefront property into three single-family residences is intended to address those concerns while providing important benefits: Both the University and YFF extended thanks to the Village of Williams Bay for the community’s dedication to Yerkes and its special place in the history and future of the area. It was operated by the University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics from its founding in 1897 to 2020. The University's most recent prior update about Yerkes, posted on their Yerkes Updates page on August 15, concerned educational programming at the observatory. 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. Preview. Yerkes Observatory (Google Maps). 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. A slightly longer than normal (24 minute) Sky at Night, broadcast in March 1988, about the Yerkes Observatory. “The people who attended made important points for us to consider, and the tone of the discussion was extremely respectful and constructive. You can take a picture from a distance but that is all. Read our community guidelines. 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. Frequently Asked Questions The University will share any plan for the future of the observatory with the Village of Williams Bay’s Board of Trustees. 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… 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. Preparations for the transition have been underway since the announcement in March that the University was searching for 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). 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. You two are the best! The observatory, built in the 1890s, has in recent decades been used primarily for education and outreach. The observatory is on the west side of the village of Williams Bay, Wisconsin, on the bank of Lake Geneva, 76 miles from Chicago. No buyer came forward, so they shut the doors to the public on October 1, 2018. Douglas said the views expressed at the meeting will be an important consideration as the University continues to evaluates proposals. 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. Reply to: Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay update. Chicago, IL 60637 A … 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. Following the observatory’s closure to the public on Oct. 1, the University has continued certain astronomical activities at the observatory, including the use of telescopes and curation of the observatory’s large collection of glass photographic plates. Our yerkes observatory canvas art is stretched on 1.5 inch thick stretcher bars and may be customized with your choice of black, white, or mirrored sides. Please check this site frequently for updates and information. Get answers to your questions about Wisconsin . “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. 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. 6,964 were here. We will continue to work with interested parties to facilitate the attainment of these goals. As part of the transfer, scheduled for May 1, the University is donating to YFF the historic observatory campus, which includes the observatory building including the large telescopes, and other property on the site. 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. In line with community priorities, the University is not considering any high-density development. In making its rezoning proposal, the University listened closely to longstanding community concerns about high-density residential development. We are excited to begin the next phase of restoration, preservation, programming and research at this historic observatory. It was a long busy afternoon but very productive. Watch this listing for more information as it becomes available. We are excited to begin the next phase of restoration, preservation, programming and research at this historic observatory. “We are deeply grateful to the Village of Williams Bay and the connection this community has to Yerkes,” Dianna Colman said. The Observatory … The University of Chicago announced in March that it would close the observatory to the public---but---maintain a minimal operation for educational and research programs. Ask a question Recent Conversations. Jan 4, 2021 - The Yerkes Observatory is currently closed to the public and is expected to reopen in late 2019 or early 2020. Ownership was transferred to the non-profit Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) in May, 2020. Wisconsin forums . Public meeting on May 18, 2018 We recognize that Yerkes means a great deal for many people, and this meeting reflected that.” The three new residential lots will provide an expanded tax base for the Village of Williams Bay. We are also currently seeking candidates for the Yerkes Observatory Executive Director position. 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. Buy yerkes observatory canvas prints designed by millions of independent artists from all over the world. UChicago activities at Yerkes Observatory to end in 2018. 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. 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. For questions and comments, please contact yerkes@uchicago.edu. 5640 S. Ellis Avenue We will post updates to this site as they become available. The University’s call for Expressions of Interest requests that interested parties submit proposals before June 15. 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. 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. Yerkes Proposal Process - PDF. It's one of the largest telescopes in the world open to the public. 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. Unless a buyer came forward, so they shut the doors to the public no buyer came forward so. 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