16.12.05

THE OBSERVATORY HEIGHTS CONDOS? The University of Chicago has put its Yerkes Observatory, in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, up for sale.

Historic, beautiful and obsolete, the observatory sits on 77 lakeside acres in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, and is a reminder of technology's inevitable replacement. Now more recreational site than center of science, the building is up for grabs in a deal that has some worried its historic importance may be compromised by the wrong buyer.

The former powerhouse of American astronomy, finished in 1897, has fallen out of the limelight since 1960 because of atmospheric pollution and new technological devlopments. A single full-time faculty member serves at Yerkes, doing mostly educational outreach.

The commenters on this post agree that the observatory is worthy of preservation, provided somebody else pays for it.

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