Nancy Grace Roman: The Life and Legacy of a NASA Star. View of the Rumford spectroheliograph attached to the 40-inch telescope at 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. In its day the largest telescope in the world, it still inspires the wonder of discovery. Thank you for your kind words. No buyer came forward, so they shut the doors to the public on October 1, 2018. To people in the astronomy and education communities, Yerkes Observatory has an almost mythical quality. During the summer of ~1970 I taught a summer science class for high school students in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. 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 For Dianna Colman, chairman of the Yerkes Future Foundation, the observatory has long been part of her life as a Williams Bay resident. He referred to himself as: As hope remains for Yerkes, let's get busy. Email. Hi, all... Got this a minute ago, I take it as very good news! The observatory sits on about 70 acres of prime lakefront real estate. YERKES OBSERVATORY. As young people we picnicked on the lawn and did water color paintings of the various palatial scenes of architecture and fauna. “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. Yerkes Observatory - News and Events Now there is new hope that the Yerkes may soon reopen under new management and with a new mission for the 21st century. 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. Sky & Telescope, Night Sky, and skyandtelescope.org are registered trademarks of AAS Sky Publishing LLC. A small cloud may have drifted over the future of the historic Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay. Also in 1893, Harper hired George Ellery Hale as an associate professor of astrophysics. 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. Yerkes Observatory has sat largely empty and closed to the public since it was closed by its former owner, the University of Chicago. Bill Duncan, Williams Bay Village President, described Yerkes as, “the iconic image for the village.” When the University of Chicago announced the closure of the Observatory, he said, “village residents took it very badly.” Duncan explained that the residents have embraced the observatory over the years. It was a long busy afternoon but very productive. My wife and I and a judge named Yerkes. We have a tree there in our honor. Yerkes Observatory---Good News! With just the staff as witnesses. The buildings and domes are architecturally rich, and the mecha... Read all 327 reviews. Agreement provides for preservation of historic Yerkes Observatory Proceeds from sale of 45 adjoining acres to support research, Yerkes outreach program : Yerkes Observatory. You two are the best! I did my best for Leslie, I just wish I had known more back then. Eastman, Jack #4608 . 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. Despite the positive steps indicated in this announcement, it is still an “agreement in principle.” Many more details are still to be worked out, including determining what role, if any, the University of Chicago will play. By: Kelly Beatty By: Dean Regas I have a spectroscope designed by a man who worked there in the early 1900’s. (You can unsubscribe anytime). The Yerkes Future Foundation took over ownership of the observatory and roughly 50 acres of surrounding land on Friday, May 1. 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. News. 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. Job Openings. toggle quoted message Show quoted text. Members of the Yerkes Future Foundation explore the John Olmsted-designed grounds of the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis. Wednesday, June 10, 2020. It was a large part of my life. The 60,000-square-foot facility, home to three domes each with its own telescope, was constructed between 1894 and 1897. Renovation has begun at the Yerkes Observatory after the University of Chicago successfully transferred ownership to the Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) on May 1. What do you do with a 19th century observatory in the 21st century? 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! In 2018, the University of Chicago made the decision to close the Observatory. 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. The Yerkes Future Foundation still hopes to keep the astronomy center that has operated for more than 100 years, functioning through an endowment fund. 373 W Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191-9603. The Yerkes Observatory, dedicated in 1897, is home to the largest refracting telescope in the world, along with several other working telescopes. 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. If you are in the area it is certainly worth a visit. Bill Duncan certainly hopes that soon the Observatory will be reopened and used once again. 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. Dianna, Joe and Mary. May 29, 2017, By: Kelly Beatty What do you do with a 19th-century observatory? 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. 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.