5 November 2019

Yerkes Observatory Gets a New Lease on Life

Dianna Colman, Yerkes Future Foundation

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. Over the next several months, both organizations will be working closely on all aspects of the proposed transfer. Additional information will be made available as appropriate.

Yerkes Observatory


YFF’s objectives include restoration and refurbishing of the telescopes and building; reopening the space for visitors; and establishing educational, research, seminars, and various additional opportunities for students, astronomers, astrophysicists, and others. 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. 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.

Both the University of Chicago 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.