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: < >      Science Center Forestalls

Internet Web Site: < >               Zeiss II Reassembly


2007 March 27


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

Friends of the Zeiss.


In 2002, The Carnegie Science Center dismantled three historic artifacts, from the original Buhl

Planetarium and placed them in storage in their warehouse. They promised the City of Pittsburgh,

owner of the artifacts, that the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, which is the oldest operable major

planetarium projector in the world, and the large Mercator’s Projection Map of the World would

be reassembled by the end of 2005. They also said the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope

would be reassembled once the Science Center expansion was completed.


With the May, 2003 collapse of the proposed $90 million expansion project, Science Center officials

said that reassembly of the Zeiss Projector would be “delayed” a year; they said nothing about

reassembly of the other two artifacts. That second deadline has come and gone with no effort

on the part of the Science Center to reassemble any of the three historic artifacts. Oh, last year

they did apply-for, receive, and spend a one million-dollar grant to totally renovate the existing

Science Center planetarium into the “Buhl Digital Dome;” but not one penny was spent to restore

Buhl Planetarium historic artifacts!


The reassembly of the Zeiss Projector had been planned for the second floor, near the current

planetarium entrance. Without a Science Center expansion, this reassembly would take space

away from the Science Center’s traveling exhibits gallery—which is important for both attracting

new visitors and repeat business. As I mentioned last year, I doubted the Science Center would

sacrifice such space for the Zeiss Projector, which they consider only to be an “antique artifact.”

Immediately following the RAD Board meeting exactly a year ago, new Carnegie Institute

President David Hillenbrand told me that plans were still underway for reassembly of the

historic artifacts; I have heard nothing since.


It is now quite clear that The Carnegie Science Center has no interest in the historic Buhl Planetarium

artifacts and has no intentions of reassembling them; they do not see display of these artifacts as part

of their mission. All of their “delays” are simply meant to drag-out the process, hoping that people

will forget these artifacts exist—the old adage: “out of sight, out of mind” !


The Zeiss Projector, Siderostat Telescope, and Mercator’s Map belong in a location where they can

actually be used to teach Science to children. This cannot and will not happen at The Carnegie Science

Center. It can only happen in the original Buhl Planetarium building, now being used by the Children’s



I ask that you direct that these three City-owned artifacts be returned to the City-owned Buhl Planetarium

building, to be used to teach Science to children visiting the Children's Museum. Otherwise, they will

languish in warehouse storage indefinitely, collecting dust and educating no one.


Thank you.