University of Chicago announces Yerkes Observatory shutdown

Updated 3/8/2018 7:09 PM

CHICAGO -- The University of Chicago has announced the October closing of the 121-year-old Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.

University Executive Vice President David Fithian said Thursday operating Yerkes no longer makes sense for the university from a programmatic or cost standpoint. He says the university hasn't decided what to do with the buildings or the property the observatory stands on.

The university's 77-acre site on Geneva Lake in southeastern Wisconsin has laboratories and telescopes for research and instruction. One of Yerkes' alumni is astronomer Edwin Hubble.

In a statement, the university said Yerkes Observatory "no longer contribute directly to the research mission" of the university. The University of Chicago has made major investments in more sophisticated telescopes in Chile.

Williams Bay Village President Bill Duncan says no plans have been made for the observatory's site.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.