Friends of the Zeiss
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Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
2008 August 12
Mr. Jim Motznik, Chairman
Committee on General and Government Services
City Council, City of
Dear Mr. Motznik:
This letter regards several
pieces of City of
Last week, The Carnegie
Science Center announced specific dates for the closing of the SportsWorks
exhibit and the
The closing of the building is necessitated by the building’s demolition, which will allow construction of a Light Rail Transit station, part of the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s expansion of the subway system to the North Side. My understanding is that the building demolition could come as early as October.
It had been expected that
several of the historic artifacts, particularly the Zeiss II Planetarium
Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and large Mercator’s
Projection Map of the World, would be on display or in use at The Carnegie
Science Center by this time. However, for reasons that have never been made
clear to me, these and other artifacts remain in storage in the
I have written to Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh President Dr. David M. Hillenbrand, twice (2007 September 24 and 2008 April 10), regarding the future storage and use of the artifacts. I received only one reply from Dr. Hillenbrand, on 2007 October 8, which was vague (copy of reply attached).
In his reply, he stated, “Before the Miller Building
is razed, we will move these items, along with many other assets residing in
As Chairman of the Committee on General and Government Services, which is responsible for City property, I think it would be wise for your office to seek written confirmation of the new storage arrangements of these historic artifacts, from The Carnegie Science Center.
Once you receive this information, I would appreciate being informed of the new storage arrangements. Four years ago, when rain run-off from Hurricane Ivan storm waters threatened objects in the Science Center warehouse, Bill Peduto, former chairman of your committee, was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the letter from the Science Center, which indicated that the historic artifacts were not affected by the storm waters.
Mr. Jim Motznik 2008 August 12 Page 2 of 2
There are actually contracts
(memoranda of understanding) between the City of
Although there are no written contracts regarding these smaller artifacts, they became City property on the day of dedication, 1939 October 24, when all contents of the Buhl Planetarium building were conveyed to the City by the Buhl Foundation. Attached is an inventory I have prepared, of the City-owned Buhl Planetarium artifacts that I understand were moved to The Carnegie Science Center from Buhl Planetarium.
Again, I wish to thank you for your strong support with regards to the designation of the original Buhl Planetarium as a City Historic Landmark. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the historic artifacts which concerns Friends of the Zeiss.
Glenn A. Walsh
Copy: Members of City Council, City of
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, City of