Friends of the Zeiss                                          Public Statement For

P.O. Box 1041                                                                        Council of the

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.                       City of Pittsburgh

Telephone: 412-561-7876                                                      By Glenn A. Walsh:

Electronic Mail: < >      Future Status of Historic

Internet Web Site: < >               Buhl Artifacts in Question


2007 October 30


Good morning, I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon,

Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss.


Last month, Port Authority Transit (PAT) agreed to purchase and demolish

The Carnegie Science Center warehouse, for construction of a new rapid

transit station. Presently, in this building are stored a number of historic

artifacts from the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, including the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, which, prior to dismantling

in 2002, was the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !!!


Originally, these artifacts were to be displayed or used in an expansion of The Carnegie Science Center. In fact, Science Center officials promised that the

Zeiss Projector would be displayed by the end of 2005. Following cancellation

of the original expansion project, they said the Zeiss Projector would be

displayed by the end of 2006. Neither deadline has been met, with very

little comment from Science Center officials.


In an October 8 response to my letter of concern regarding the impending

warehouse demolition, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh President David Hillenbrand said that “delay and changes in our expansion project”

resulted in no action to display the artifacts. However, he also stated

that the artifacts would be moved to another storage facility, “until

such time as we determine their ultimate disposition.”


Those last few words are very troubling. The “ultimate disposition” of the

artifacts was spelled-out in the Memoranda of Understanding with the

City as display in the Science Center. We are quite concerned that the

Science Center may wish another “disposition” of the artifacts.


The City has given the Science Center the privilege to display these

artifacts. If the Science Center does not wish to display them, then

they should be returned to the original Buhl Planetarium building,

the only place where they could actually be used to teach science,

and teach science to children visiting the Children’s Museum.

If they are neither displayed in the Science Center, nor used

in the Children’s Museum, we strongly fear that this important

Pittsburgh history could be lost forever.


As the Council of the City of Pittsburgh, representing the people

of Pittsburgh who actually own these artifacts, we ask that you

insist that these important Pittsburgh artifacts are returned

to the original Buhl Planetarium building, or at least displayed

in the new building expansion planned by the Science Center.

Use or display of these artifacts at the Children’s Museum

or the Science Center are the only reasonable alternatives;

indefinite warehouse storage is completely unacceptable!


Thank you.