One evening we drove up to Yerkes and spent about 4 hours (after formal observations were done for the night) using the 40" Clark refractor, often slewing by hand, viewing the most magnificent views of a dozen well known objects. Over the past year, Colman along with other members of the YFF consulted with experts in the field of informal science education to develop a sustaining model for the future of Yerkes. … 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. Yerkes Observatory, shown above in this aerial image high above Williams Bay, has been closed to the public for one year, after more than a century of scientific research and education. In the News “Luxury resort in stars for U. of C. observatory” June 8, 2006. (You can unsubscribe anytime). What do you do with a 19th century observatory in the 21st century? Yerkes Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.A. As young people we picnicked on the lawn and did water color paintings of the various palatial scenes of architecture and fauna. 77 Restaurants within 5 miles. I’d donate his spectroscope if you find a way to keep Yerkes Observatory alive. The University of Chicago, which … As the project developed, Hale took the lead in planning the building. Dean, thanks for your article on the re-opening of the Yerkes Observatory. “The community vigorously opposed this development,” Duncan said, “and through fits and starts, the same hard work has gone into a breakthrough with the University of Chicago.”, On November 5, 2019, a hint at this breakthrough came via a press release, which stated, “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. The building and grounds are designed with such magical detail that the setting looks like something out of a fairy tale. Thank you for your kind words. Copyright ©2020 AAS Sky Publishing LLC. The age of giant refractors is gone. If not, maybe the new owner of S&T will consider doing such in the near future. November 14, 2019 File photo, Regional News "However, we're also eager to see more concrete movement, beyond merely an agreement in principle." Best nearby. In 2018, the University of Chicago made the decision to close the Observatory. During the summer of ~1970 I taught a summer science class for high school students in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. The 30" Brashear refractor at Allegheny Observatory, refigured by Jean Texereau, and the Clark 26" refractor at the US Naval Observatory (Washington, D.C.), have been in active use in recent years, the 30" for astrometry and t he 26" for double star measures - a vital aspect of astronomy. Donate. The Yerkes Observatory is a fascinating place. Members of the Yerkes Future Foundation find shade under a large maple tree on a portion of the 48-acre John Olmsted-designed grounds of the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay. Yerkes Observatory---Good News! Hopefully several of those students still love astronomy! It reminded me of the trips I made with my wife to this American astronomical institution many years ago, and how incredible it was to walk into that gigantic dome, and feel the splendid weight of that crowning achievement of Alvin Clark and Sons looming above us! As hope remains for Yerkes, let's get busy. Yerkes Observatory, shown above in this aerial image high above Williams Bay, has been closed to the public for one year, after more than a century of scientific research and education. Dianna, Joe and Mary. News Break; yerkes observatory. I recall how that experience reminded me of the first time I ever had such a feeling, when I stepped into the larger observatory (housing a 12-inch Clark refractor) of Leslie C. Peltier in late August of 1971. gazing in awe up at this beautiful, long white refractor pointed skyward above me, and the wonderful views it gave of Vega, the first-quarter moon, and the Ring Nebula. All rights reserved. Bill Duncan certainly hopes that soon the Observatory will be reopened and used once again. 373 W Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191-9603. “The Observatory brought in so many astronomers that enriched the community, and their presence encouraged volunteerism among the residents toward space science and education.”, Located near the shores of Lake Geneva, the Yerkes site is considered prime real estate. View of the Rumford spectroheliograph attached to the 40-inch telescope at Yerkes Observatory Specifically Colman pointed to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, whose staff has mentored the group, as the standard for success. The Yerkes Observatory, dedicated in 1897, is home to the largest refracting telescope in the world, along with several other working telescopes. WILLIAMS BAY — Yerkes Observatory and most of the surrounding lakefront land will officially become property of the nonprofit Yerkes Future Foundation on May 1, securing the iconic site with new local ownership heading into the future. We are excited to begin the next phase of restoration, preservation, programming and research at this historic observatory. The university opened the observatory in 1897 and closed it … Unless a buyer came forward, they would close the observatory. In the meantime, I continue to praise you and the staff of the Cincinnati Observatory for a wonderful historic location. We are excited to begin the next phase of restoration, preservation, programming and research at this historic observatory. The future of Yerkes Observatory remains uncertain after its recent closure by the University, which has activated stipulations put in place by the observatory’s primary funder that could revert ownership of the observatory and its telescope to his descendants. Sky & Telescope, Night Sky, and skyandtelescope.org are registered trademarks of AAS Sky Publishing LLC. When will Yerkes reopen, and what exactly will it look like, are questions still to be answered. ... People realize it’s value and it is open to visitors with an appointment through friends of the yerkes observatory. In the past several developers have proposed plans to build hotels or resorts on the property, as well as re-purpose the surrounding green spaces. About > News > Yerkes Observatory Photographs Now Online Browse by Category . By: Dean Regas “A lemon in a garden of love”. May 1st, 2020 - The Yerkes Future Foundation would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the past two years. It was a long busy afternoon but very productive. Its status within the world of astronomy is extraordinary. OwlEye, thank you for your efforts to save the observatory of Leslie C. Peltier (August 1971). We need to see the Yerkes Observatory.”. Dr George van Biesbroeck made use of the Yerkes refractor for many years for these measures and a resumption would please his shade! On October 21, 1897, Charles Tyson Yerkes presented the dedication speech of The Yerkes Observatory to 700 astronomers and those interested in the discovery of the heavens. 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. It was during this year that Harper and Hale conceived what would become known as Yerkes Observatory. Yerkes Observatory has sat largely empty and closed to the public since it was closed by its former owner, the University of Chicago. Agreement Reached on Yerkes Sale Sky and Telescope June 7, 2006. Save Yerkes, a student group that has been advocating for the University to take action in saving the observatory, wrote in a statement to The Maroon over Facebook that they appreciate the news and the progress about the announcement. Yerkes is strongly tied to the quaint community in which it resides. I did my best for Leslie, I just wish I had known more back then. Once state of the art, this Gilded Age observatory has been left behind by progress. Recently, the University of Chicago transferred ownership of the 123-year-old facility to the foundation, a preservation group that plans to restore, refurbish and reopen the research center. THANK YOU Dean, for this word of hope about Yerkes. In its day the largest telescope in the world, it still inspires the wonder of discovery. The 40-inch refractor telescope towers over people during a tour of Yerkes Observatory on June 30, 2018, in Williams Bay, Wis. May 29, 2017, By: Kelly Beatty aauw.org | 17d. After closing Yerkes Observatory more than a year ago, officials shared Tuesday how they plan to reopen the facility, which documents show could offer public tours as early as late Dianna, Joe and Mary. Gravitational Waves Shed Light on Neutron Star Interiors, Mission to Asteroid Psyche to Launch Earlier Than Anticipated. Email. We have a tree there in our honor. Now there is new hope that the Yerkes may soon reopen under new management and with a new mission for the 21st century. Tour guide Richard Dreiser closes the front door of Yerkes Observatory on Sept. 29, 2018, as the University of Chicago officially closed the Williams Bay landmark to the public. The Yerkes Future Foundation still hopes to keep the astronomy center that has operated for more than 100 years, functioning through an endowment fund. With just the staff as witnesses. Sky & Telescope is part of AAS Sky Publishing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Astronomical Society. But Yerkes is not closing, mind you, just reorganizing. Since 1897, Yerkes Observatory has welcomed astronomers, astronauts, Nobel prize winners, scientists, educators and others to its beautiful location in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Unless a buyer came forward, they would close the observatory. Contact. 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. In 2018, we lost a proud AAUW member and true American hero — Nancy Grace Roman. Yerkes Observatory is barely visible behind scaffolding erected on the west side of the former scientific research center, as construction crews get started on restoration of the building. Website +1 262-245-5555 . My wife and I and a judge named Yerkes. It was a large part of my life. March 21, 2013, By: Janine Myszka The buildings and domes are architecturally rich, and the mecha... Read all 327 reviews. Yerkes Observatory, a historic, castle-like building built to house a gigantic telescope, may soon reopen if all goes according to plan. All that remains today is a graffiti-covered pier enshrouded by tall bushes. It was previously owned by the University of Chicago’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Apply. News / Yerkes Observatory is closing its doors; Yerkes Observatory is closing its doors . Eastman, Jack #4608 . Astronomers, historians, and telescope enthusiasts around the world feared the worst: that Yerkes would never open again. Our Partners. Full view. Ownership was transferred to the non-profit Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) in May, 2020. Renovation has begun at the Yerkes Observatory after the University of Chicago successfully transferred ownership to the Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) on May 1. Yerkes Observatory - News and Events Maybe, this has already happened. The Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, will significantly scale back its astronomical programming this summer and cease operations on October 1, 2018. 7, Yes, I would like to receive emails from Sky & Telescope. If you are in the area it is certainly worth a visit. No buyer came forward, so … I was married there on a beautiful August day to a beautiful lady. “Our first step is to get inside and make sure it is safe and the equipment is usable,” Colman said. File photo, Regional News Yerkes restoration begins - 5 JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL In 1892, financier Charles Yerkes agreed to endow an observatorythat planned to host the world’s largest refracting telescope. Known as the “mother of the Hubble,” Dr. Roman was the first chief of astronomy at NASA and the first woman to hold an executive position there. Key responsibilities include: Leadership of organization. For Dianna Colman, chairman of the Yerkes Future Foundation, the observatory has long been part of her life as a Williams Bay resident. Agreement provides for preservation of historic Yerkes Observatory Proceeds from sale of 45 adjoining acres to support research, Yerkes outreach program : Yerkes Observatory. The University of Chicago Library News. Hi, all... Got this a minute ago, I take it as very good news! February 13, 2015, By: Camille M. Carlisle Yerkes Observatory Executive Director Position Description. Despite the turn of events for Leslie's observatory, I think a photo posted somewhere in Delphos or on the pages of Sky & Telescope would serve much good to his followers. No buyer came forward, so they shut the doors to the public on October 1, 2018. What else do you think it will take? By: Kelly Beatty He referred to himself as: Also in 1893, Harper hired George Ellery Hale as an associate professor of astrophysics. After Leslie's passing in May of 1980, I tried to convince the people of Delphos, Ohio, to acquire and maintain this amazing observatory as a memorial to Leslie and an observatory for the public, but to no avail. When the building and a bulk of the surrounding property was donated earlier this year to the nonprofit Yerkes Future Foundation, the foundation began restoring and improving the old observatory. We are also currently seeking candidates for the Yerkes Observatory Executive Director position. Like you and many other amateur astronomers, I am sorry about the fate of Leslie's observatory. More information can be found here.