Glenn A. Walsh
633 Royce Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15243-1149
Telephone: (412) 561-7876
Telefacsimile: (412) 276-9472
Electronic Mail: <GAWalsh@planetarium.cc>
Internet Web Site:<http://www.planetarium.cc>
Statement Before The Council of The City of Pittsburgh
Regarding The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science
Tuesday, January 25, 2000
Good morning. My name is Glenn A. Walsh and I reside at 633 Royce Avenue in Mount Lebanon. I was employed with The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science for nearly ten years. And, as many of you know, I have been working for more than six years to help the City of Pittsburgh find a new tenant for the Buhl Planetarium building in Allegheny Center.
Yesterday, a meeting was held at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum regarding their proposal to reuse the Buhl building. The Children's Museum is proposing a "Children's Cultural Center," to include their present building, the Buhl building, and, possibly, the Hazlett Theatre. The idea of using the Buhl building as part of a Children's Cultural Center sounds very promising.
Last Thursday, I talked to Ms. Jane Werner, the new Executive Director of the Children's Museum about this proposal. I asked her permission to attend yesterday's meeting. My request was denied!
Further, she told me that it is her intention to "find a new home" for two very historic pieces of equipment in the Buhl building: the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, which is now the oldest operating, major planetarium projector in the world!!!; and the 10-inch Siderostat-type, refractor telescope, a rather unique telescope of which this one is the second largest of its type in the world!
Should either of these pieces of equipment be moved out of the Buhl building, they would be rendered completely unusable!!! In the case of the planetarium projector, it can only be used under a
65-foot diameter dome. Once the Zeiss projector leaves the Buhl building, Pittsburgh would lose the distinction of having the oldest operating, major planetarium projector in the world.
There are a few other historic pieces of equipment and artifacts in the Buhl Planetarium building. These include a Large World Map, originally from the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. At the time of creation, this was considered the largest Mercator's Projection map in the world!!! The Buhl Planetarium building, and all equipment and artifacts currently in the building, are the property of the City of Pittsburgh.
The historic equipment and artifacts, currently in the Buhl building, would provide no impediment to the creation of a Children's Cultural Center; indeed, some of these pieces of equipment and artifacts could be used as part of the new Center's programming. I believe there are ways to accommodate the historic equipment and artifacts without jeopardizing the goals of the Children's Museum. I would like to work cooperatively with the City and the Children's Museum to find such accommodations.
Today, I come to you to ask that this Council permit me to participate in the planning process for the future use of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
Attached is a sheet, which provides some basic facts about The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and the historic equipment and artifacts, which remain in the building. You can learn more about the Buhl Planetarium building and its history, on a 20-page Internet web site I created on behalf of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, at "www.planetarium.cc". Thank you.
This Internet, World Wide Web Site administered by Glenn A.
Andrew Carnegie Free Library.
Unless otherwise indicated, all web pages in this account are © Copyright 2000, Andrew Carnegie Free Library, All Rights Reserved.
Additions and corrections to: Jake@planetarium.cc
Last modified : Saturday, 15-Jul-2000 15:09:57 EDT.
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