The Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis. is now closed to the public. YFF and the University have agreed to several long-term loans of the University’s astronomical equipment that YFF may use at Yerkes, including the observatory’s large collection of glass plates and several historically significant artifacts. Yerkes Future Foundation, education and historic preservation, Williams Bay. Yerkes Observatory new owners have restoration plan. The University has been seeking proposals for the future of Yerkes since late April, according to the Division of the Physical Sciences website. Ownership was transferred to the non-profit Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) in May, 2020. 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. 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. Inquiries concerning these programs should be directed to GLAS Education (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: https://www.glaseducation.org). “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. "It's in great shape for being 123 years old," said Ed Struble, who has been the director of building and grounds at Yerkes for nearly 30 years and is continuing that role with the foundation. The locally founded Yerkes Future Foundation received the observatory building and its grounds in early May as a gift from the University of Chicago. The university also donated an undisclosed amount of seed money to help the Yerkes Future Foundation begin the preservation and care duties of the property. 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. Yerkes Observatory, the birthplace of modern astrophysics, is a majestic, iconic building with a rich history of science discovery and education on the shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. On March 7, 2018, the University of Chicago announced that it will end its activities at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis., by Oct. 1, 2018. Douglas said the views expressed at the meeting will be an important consideration as the University continues to evaluates proposals. The locally founded Yerkes Future Foundation received the observatory building and its grounds in early May as a gift from the University of Chicago. 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. Public meeting on May 18, 2018 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. âItâs in great shape for being 123 years old,â said Ed Struble, who has been the director of building and grounds at Yerkes for nearly 30 years and is continuing that role with the foundation. The Yerkes Future Foundation Steps In. 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. “We are deeply grateful to the Village of Williams Bay and the connection this community has to Yerkes,” Dianna Colman said. Yerkes Future Foundation, Inc. is a Wisconsin Nonstock Corporation filed on June 4, 2018. 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. The mission of the Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) is to preserve and protect the Yerkes Observatory and enhance and expand the experience visitors have on the site. Two organizations have asked to remain anonymous at this time. Dianna Colman of the Yerkes Future Foundation says the group is launching a big fundraising campaign to … Representatives from the University of Chicago listened to a wide range of input from community members in a public meeting about the future of the Yerkes Observatory property in Williams Bay, Wis., on May 18. The mission of the Yerkes Future Foundation (âYFFâ) is to preserve and protect Yerkes Observatory, celebrate its history and continue to foster its goals of research, education and astronomical observation by providing the opportunity to engage to all.