Friends of the Zeiss

P.O. Box 1041

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

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Electronic Mail: < >

Internet Web Site: < >


2007 September 24


Mr. David M. Hillenbrand, President

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

4400 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-4080


Dear Mr. Hillenbrand:


On Friday morning, the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Allegheny County preliminarily approved the purchase and demolition of the Miller Warehouse Building, owned by The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and located across the street from The Carnegie Science Center. This demolition will make way for construction of the elevated Allegheny Light Rail Transit Station, part of the expansion of the ďTĒ subway line to the North Side. Final approval is expected on Friday.


In addition to the popular SportsWorks exhibit, this warehouse includes the storage of several historic pieces of equipment and artifacts from the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, which were moved to this warehouse in 1991, 1994, or 2002. This includes the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector (oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !) and Control Console, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and large Mercatorís Projection Map of the World. A list of other historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts, moved into this warehouse, is attached.


Friends of the Zeiss is a grass-roots organization of citizens interested in the preservation, restoration, and eventual reuse of these historic artifacts.


Under three Memoranda of Understanding, which went into legal effect on 2002 October 25 between The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh (owner of all of these artifacts), The Carnegie Science Center was authorized to temporarily store the Zeiss II Projector, Siderostat Telescope, and Mercatorís Projection World Map before displaying them in The Carnegie Science Center.


Originally, the Zeiss II Projector was to be displayed by the end of 2005, with the display of the Mercatorís Projection World Map soon after. The original plans were to install the Siderostat Telescope for use in the proposed expansion of The Carnegie Science Center.


Once the proposed expansion project was cancelled, it was announced that display of the Zeiss II Projector would now occur by the end of 2006. There was no mention of restoration and display of the Siderostat Telescope and Mercatorís Projection World Map. These three artifacts continue to be stored in the Miller Warehouse Building, along with smaller artifacts from Buhl Planetarium.




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Mr. David M. Hillenbrand†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2007 September 24††††††††††††††††††††††††† Page 2 of 2



Now that the Miller Warehouse Building will be sold to the Port Authority and be demolished, what are the plans of The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh for display and/or storage of all of these historic artifacts? Willthey now be displayed in The Carnegie Science Center? Or will they be moved to another storage facility?


Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Sincerely yours,




Glenn A. Walsh

Project Director






Copy:†† Jim Ferlo, Senator, Pennsylvania General Assembly

††††††††††††††† Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh

††††††††††††††† Council of the City of Pittsburgh

††††††††††††††† Katherine Molnar, Preservation Planner, City of Pittsburgh

††††††††††††††† Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh

††††††††††††††† Dan Onorato, Chief Executive, County of Allegheny

††††††††††††††† Council of the County of Allegheny

††††††††††††††† David Donahoe, Executive Director, Allegheny Regional Asset District

††††††††††††††† Board of Directors, Allegheny Regional Asset District

††††††††††††††† Stephen G. Bland, Chief Executive Officer, Port Authority of Allegheny County

††††††††††††††† Board of Directors, Port Authority of Allegheny County

††††††††††††††† Barbara Simpson, President. Allegheny County Transit Council

††††††††††††††† Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr., President, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation

††††††††††††††† Louise Sturgess, Executive Director, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation

††††††††††††††† Steven Paul, Executive Director, Preservation Pittsburgh

††††††††††††††† Dan Holland, Young Preservationistsí Association of Pittsburgh

††††††††††††††† Friends of the Zeiss