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Searching For Ways to Keep Yerkes Alive

Williams Bay---An effort is underway to save Yerkes.

It turns out that even before the University of Chicago announced plans last week to close the 121 year-old observatory on Geneva Lake, the facility's staff was busy behind the scenes developing scenarios to pursue if and when the school would pull out. "We are working hard on very viable solutions to solve the issue of maintaining an amazingly beautiful, architecturally significant, historically important and still educationally valuable facility for current and future generations," said Yerkes Tours and Special Programs Director Dan Koehler in a Facebook post Sunday.

Options are expected to be laid out in the next day or two, he said. The topic is expected to come up at a Williams Bay Village Board meeting Monday, March 19th. 

Yerkes is known as the birthplace of modern astrophysics. At one point, its telescope was the most powerful in the world.  In recent years, the university's attention shifted to more powerful and sophisticated telescopes in Chile. 

In his Facebook post, Koehler thanked people for their support, and urged supporters to remain positive.