Ownership was transferred to the non-profit Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) in May, 2020. Yerkes Observatory (/ ˈ j ɜːr k iː z / YUR-keez) is an astronomical observatory located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.A.It was operated by the University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics from its founding in 1897 to 2020. Since the University of Chicago last year closed Yerkes Observatory, boosters have formed the Yerkes Future Foundation in hopes of taking … Yerkes Observatory, shown in this aerial image high above Williams Bay, is now in the hands of a private foundation, but the University of Chicago still owns adjacent land along the lakefront. The buildings and domes are architecturally rich, and the mecha... Read all 327 reviews. The Yerkes Observatory is a fascinating place. 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. The building and grounds are designed with such magical detail that the setting looks like something out of a fairy tale. Renovation has begun at the Yerkes Observatory after the University of Chicago successfully transferred ownership to the Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) on May 1. In its day the largest telescope in the world, it still inspires the wonder of discovery. It was previously owned by the University of Chicago’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 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 Yerkes is strongly tied to the quaint community in which it resides. The Yerkes Future Foundation took over ownership of the observatory and roughly 50 acres of surrounding land on Friday, May 1. 373 W Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191-9603. Website Yerkes Observatory, “the birthplace of modern astrophysics”, in Williams Bay, Wisconsin is the home of the 40-inch diameter “Great Refractor”, the world’s largest lens telescope, completed in 1897. Contact. Centered inside a 90-foot diameter dome, the 1890s-era refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay towers over visitors. The University of Chicago donated the Yerkes Observatory to a foundation dedicated to preserving the facility. Yerkes Observatory has sat largely empty and closed to the public since it was closed by its former owner, the University of Chicago. 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. File photo, Regional News New stewards for Yerkes Observatory offer expanded vision By: Associated Press June 29, 2020 6:00 am Ed Struble, who has been the director of building and grounds at Yerkes Obervatory for nearly 30 years, controls the dome’s movable roof panels with an electric control switch at the 1890’s-era research facility in Williams Bay on June 10. From 1897 to 1908 the Great Refractor was the largest astronomical telescope in the world. The Yerkes Observatory, dedicated in 1897, is home to the largest refracting telescope in the world, along with several other working telescopes. Location. Full view. The University of Chicago last month transferred ownership of the 123-year-old facility to the Yerkes Future Foundation, a preservation group that plans to restore, refurbish and reopen the historic research center. Geneva St, Williams Bay towers over visitors Bay, WI 53191-9603 its day the largest telescope in the,... 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