Sad news indeed, if Yerkes is to close.
I visited in 2014, and give a talk about my visit – http://www.mikefrost.info/yerkes.html The observatory is a beautiful place with ornate and elegant architecture, and of course it hosts the world’s largest refractor.
The site is prime real estate on the shores of Geneva Lake, and I know Chicago Uni have made previous attempts to realise their asset. But what is to happen to the telescopes? I suspect it would be prohibitively expensive to build a new dome somewhere else.