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William Peduto, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh

414 Grant Street, Suite 512

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-2419

RE: Historic Buhl Planetarium Telescope and other City-Owned artifacts affected by Etna warehouse fire?

Dear Mr. Mayor:

Some years ago, The Carnegie Science Center vacated the former Miller Printing warehouse, to make-way for the Port Authorityís Allegheny Light Rail Station. Science Center items stored in this warehouse, including Buhl Planetariumís historic 10-inch Siderostat-Type Refractor Telescope and other Buhl Planetarium artifacts, were then moved to a warehouse in Etna.

Please note that the telescope and other Buhl Planetarium artifacts are the legal property of the City of Pittsburgh. Regarding the telescope, and the large Mercatorís Projection Map of the World, each are specifically under contract (legal Memorandum of Understanding) with the City to be under the care of The Carnegie Science Center. The other artifacts are also legally owned by the City, as they were in the building at the time of building dedication (Tuesday, 1939 October 24), when the Buhl Foundation legally conveyed the building and all contents of the building to the City of Pittsburgh.

There was a bad fire at a commercial warehouse in Etna on May 8. I do not know if this is the same warehouse which was used by The Carnegie Science Center to store the historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts. However, this STORExpress warehouse (former Tippins Steel Plant) would seem to be the largest commercial warehouse in Etna. Further, KDKA-TV noted that a private science lecturer (Shawn Miller, of Labratz Science, Inc.) had been keeping his materials in this warehouse, including several animals.

I, respectfully, ask that the City of Pittsburgh investigate this matter. Did The Carnegie Science Center use this particular commercial warehouse to store the historic telescope and other artifacts? If so, what is the condition of these artifacts? If these artifacts are damaged, are any parts of the artifacts salvageable?

Mayor William Peduto†††††††††††††††††††††† Friday, 2019 May 17††††††††††††† Page 2 of 2

 

Attached is an inventory of historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts I believe may be in the Etna warehouse. These are artifacts that were in the Buhl Planetarium building when it completely closed to the public in 1994. I believe these are items that The Carnegie Science Center moved into storage either in 1994, or in 2002 when the building was leased to the Childrenís Museum of Pittsburgh.

I would deeply appreciate learning the results of your investigation of this matter. Also, please contact me if I can be of any assistance in identifying historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts which may be damaged.

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Glenn A. Walsh

gaw

Attachment: Inventory of Historic Buhl Planetarium Artifacts Which May Be in Etna Warehouse

Copy:Members of Pittsburgh City Council

Attachment:
Historic Buhl Planetarium Equipment & Artifacts - 2019 May - Page 1 of 2 *** Historic Buhl Planetarium Equipment & Artifacts - 2019 May - Page 2 of 2