The historic Yerkes Observatory, in the Geneva Lake, WI region, is set to be closed by its current owners, the University of Chicago.

The Yerkes Observatory is the largest Refractive Telescope in the world.

Yerkes Observatory is operated by the University of Chicago’s astronomy and astrophysics department began in 1892, when a new professor, George Hale, learned that twin 42-inch mirrors were available. If put together, the mirrors could be used to create a 40-inch telescope.

Hale and Alvan Clark, a telescope maker, persuaded a Chicago streetcar businessman named Charles Yerkes to finance the construction of the observatory. Yerkes granted them $349,000 (roughly $9.8 million in 2014 dollars), and the first observations were made in 1897, according to the National Park Service’s Yerkes website.

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