About Yerkes Observatory


Yerkes Observatory, birthplace of modern astrophysics, is a majestic, iconic building with a rich history of science discovery and education. Its status within the world of astronomy is extraordinary. Since 1897, Yerkes Observatory has welcomed astronomers, astronauts, Nobel prize winners, scientists, educators and others to its beautiful location in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.

In 2018, the University of Chicago made the decision to close the Observatory. Over a period of two years, a community-based organization—the Yerkes Future Foundation—pressed forward to secure ownership and to protect, preserve, enhance and expand the Observatory. In May 2020, the transfer of ownership was completed.

Yerkes Future Foundation

The mission of the Yerkes Future Foundation 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 all interested.