Friends of the Zeiss
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Internet Web Site: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
2008 April 10
Dr. David M. Hillenbrand, President
The Carnegie Museums of
Dear Dr. Hillenbrand:
On April 8, I attended the Pre-Bid Conference for Contract NSC-007, the contract that includes erection of aerial structure for expansion of the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Light Rail Transit system on the North Side and the demolition of the Miller Printing Warehouse Building of The Carnegie Science Center. Under the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, this Pre-Bid Conference is open to the general public.
The Pre-Bid Conference
included two site visits: on April 8, a walk along the proposed transit
alignment; and early morning (7:30 a.m., before
However, when I attempted to attend the April 9 site visit, Carnegie Science Center Director of Exhibits, Facilities & Operations Tom Flaherty refused me admission to the building; this occurred in the “SportsWorks” parking lot. In fact, he said that if I did not leave voluntarily he would have security physically remove me from the property.
Despite my disagreement with some policies of The Carnegie Science Center, it has never been my intention to cause any trouble. Although I did indicate my displeasure with Mr. Flaherty’s decision, I left the property voluntarily.
For nearly thirty years, I have been attending Board of Directors and other public meetings of the Port Authority of Allegheny County. I am an avid supporter of public transportation and of the “North Shore Connector” project. Hence, it was not unusual for me to attend this Pre-Bid Conference, including the site visits.
continue to be quite concerned with the storage, current status, and future
storage arrangements for the historic artifacts currently being stored in the
Miller Warehouse, from
want to thank you for your letter of October 8, in response to my letter of
September 24. In the letter you state, “Before the Miller Building is razed, we
will move these items, along with many other assets residing in the
am quite concerned with the terminology, ultimate
disposition. The three Memoranda of Understanding between The Carnegie
Science Center and the City of
are to be displayed/used in The Carnegie Science Center. If they are not to be displayed/used in The Carnegie Science Center, then Friends of the Zeiss strongly believes that they should be returned to the
Dr. David M. Hillenbrand 2008 April 10 Page 2 of 2
original Buhl Planetarium building. Due to custom design of the building, the original Buhl Planetarium is the only place where the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and the 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.
Although your October 8 response talked about the three historic artifacts, covered by the Memoranda of Understanding, you did not specifically mention the status and future storage arrangements of smaller Buhl Planetarium artifacts specified on my September 24 attachment (copy attached). These smaller artifacts, moved to either the Miller Building or The Carnegie Science Center between 1991 and 1994, are also City property, due to the fact that they were in the Buhl Planetarium building on the day of dedication, 1939 October 24, when the Buhl Foundation gifted everything to the City of Pittsburgh. I continue to seek information regarding these artifacts, as well.
would like to see all of these artifacts as they are currently stored in the
Glenn A. Walsh
Copy: Jim Ferlo, Senator, Pennsylvania General Assembly
Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of
of the City of
Molnar, Preservation Planner, City of
Review Commission of
Onorato, Chief Executive,
David Donahoe, Executive Director, Allegheny Regional Asset District
Board of Directors, Allegheny Regional Asset District
G. Bland, Chief Executive Officer, Port Authority of
of Directors, Port Authority of
Simpson, President. Allegheny
Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr., President,
Louise Sturgess, Executive Director,
Steven Paul, Executive Director, Preservation
Dan Holland, Young Preservationists’ Association of
Joanna Haas, Director, The
Ron Baillie, Director of Education, The
Tom Flaherty, Director, Exhibits, Facilities &
Friends of the Zeiss