Friends of the Zeiss
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Internet Web Site: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
2007 February 26
“Charm Bracelet” Window Not So Charming
In the February 21 Architecture column, titled “First Time’s the Charm” regarding the North Side “Charm Bracelet,” Charles Rosenblum cited the pride, expressed by Children’s Museum Executive Director Jane Werner, with the gutting of a wall of the original Buhl Planetarium which included a historic astronomical inscription from the 19th Psalm of the Bible ("The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.") replaced by a large window. He failed to mention that the gutting of this wall section, with the Biblical inscription, was vehemently opposed by both Friends of the Zeiss and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, at the March 13, 2002 public hearing before the Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission.
To gain Commission acceptance of the gutting of this wall, Ms. Werner talked about reassembling the Biblical inscription nearby. Did Mr. Rosenblum see the reassembled Biblical inscription? I don’t think so. Right now, unorganized fragments of this Biblical inscription are scattered on Buhl’s east lawn, with some of these fragments forming borders of flower beds!
Actually, this is not surprising from a museum management that also insisted on the removal of the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and other historic Buhl artifacts—all of which continue wallowing in warehouse storage, educating no one!
Is this how the Children’s Museum wants to connect to the community—by total disregard of this North Side history and the sanctity of an inscription from the Bible? I call on Children’s Museum management to reassemble this Biblical inscription, and return the other historic Buhl artifacts to teach science to children visiting the Children’s Museum, to show that the Children’s Museum truly values this historic legacy of the North Side.
Glenn A. Walsh
Photo of Inscription prior to gutting of wall:
Article from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette documenting opposition by Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation: