Living Here

To Live and Die at the Yerkes Mausoleum.
What happened?  The GSR ‘outed’ the family ownership and beneficiary status of the Yerkes observatory building and the telescope it contains some time ago.  If the Yerkes was ever closed then the family, the survivors of Yerkes himself, were to get the building and the scope back from the University of Chicago.  The University closed the Yerkes Observatory.  The GSR pointed out and published the document transferring ownership, with the family’s permission.  It took only weeks for the family to withdraw and never grant another interview. Gee, we wonder why.  Subsequently, the building and the scope were deeded to a non-profit set up by a local high-class woman named Dianna Coleman.  The University published plans to sell the rest of the ten acres, a majority of it, lakefront, and allow new owners to build single-family homes.  All of that, outside of deeding the building and scope to Coleman’s outfit, had to be approved by the Williams Bay Village Board.

And there you have it.  It’s been dead for a year. Coleman had one meeting where people were invited (they came in hundreds) and then they were told to shut up while first the University and then Coleman herself gave pre-written speeches about, basically, the meaning of life.  Dead.  The thing died.  Coleman would say no more, and neither has the University of Chicago.  The Observatory sits there. The lots sit there.  The University people went back to Illinois to likely plot some more tricky skullduggery against some other luckless community.  Nobody’s talking while the finest cultural feature ever built around Geneva Lake, a jewel that Williams Bay should have taken over if it had had any vision or decent leadership at all at the time, is dead.  How do they pay the bills?  Nobody knows or is saying.  How are they raising money, or are they?  Nobody knows or is saying.

What are the plans for the place or are there any plans?  Same answer.  It’s a mausoleum without any bodies.  A caretaker moves among the empty dark corridors and rooms, reading to himself from Dante’s Inferno and waiting for a rumored zombie attack.

Christmas Downtown Lake Geneva

Christmas Lake Geneva

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas! From Downtown Lake Geneva

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