Friends of the Zeiss                                          Public Statement For

P.O. Box 1041                                                                        Board of Directors,

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.                       Regional Asset District

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

Electronic Mail: < >      Science Center Space

Internet Web Site: < >          Lost for Display of

2008 April 28                                                                          Planetarium Artifacts


Good afternoon. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon, Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss.


On April 9, Carnegie Science Center officials announced a new permanent exhibit, “RoboWorld,” will be installed next year—touted as “the largest and most comprehensive

robotics exhibit anywhere in the nation," which will include Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame. While this is an exciting new exhibition for the Science Center

and for Pittsburgh, it creates a new problem.


When the Science Center dismantled the historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts in 2002, it promised the City of Pittsburgh, owner of these artifacts, that the Zeiss II Planetarium

Projector and the large Mercator’s Projection Map of the World would be reassembled in a new, permanent Science Center exhibit called “The Final Frontier.” “The Final Frontier”

exhibit, which was not dependent on the then-proposed Science Center expansion project, was to be completed by 2005, on the second floor next to the existing Science Center



Following the cancellation of the proposed Science Center expansion in 2003, the Science Center indicated that there would be a one-year delay in opening “The Final Frontier”

exhibit. The 2006 deadline came and went with no exhibit and no indication of when the exhibit would open.


Now, it has been announced that the vast majority of space on the Science Center’s second floor, originally reserved for traveling exhibits and for “The Final Frontier” exhibit,

would be used for the new “RoboWorld” exhibit. The current Science Center building has no other space available for “The Final Frontier” exhibit.


I have now sent two letters to Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh President, Dr. David M. Hillenbrand regarding this issue. Thus far, I have received only one reply, which

vaguely states that the historic artifacts will be stored in “another facility…until such time as we determine their ultimate disposition.”


Our fear is that the historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts will remain in warehouse storage indefinitely and practically forgotten, now that the Science Center has no space available.

The only Science Center expansion currently planned is a small $5 million facility to house the “SportsWorks” exhibit, once the Science Center warehouse is demolished for a

Light Rail Transit station; it is unlikely this facility would include the historic artifacts.


If The Carnegie Science Center cannot or will not display these artifacts, Friends of the Zeiss strongly believes that they should be returned to the original Buhl Planetarium

building. Due to custom design of the building, the original Buhl Planetarium is the only place where the Zeiss II Projector and Zeiss II Projector and
10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope could be fully utilized to teach science to children;
and, it is advantageous that the building is currently being used as a Children’s Museum.


Whether in the Children’s Museum or the Science Center, these unique and historic artifacts should be displayed to the public. We ask that you assist in assuring that

these publicly-owned artifacts are displayed for the benefit of Allegheny County residents.


Thank you.



(Letter of support on page two.)