Architectural Studies, Floor Plans, and
The Buhl Planetarium
and Institute of Popular Science
America's Fifth Major Planetarium
October 24, 1939 through August 31, 1991
[Operated by Carnegie Institute
from January, 1987 through
October 24, 1999 marks the 60th anniversary of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science !
Floor Plans and Technical Specifications
The following are two architectural floor plans, along with a sheet of
technical specifications, for The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of
Popular Science. This information, which was printed in 1955, closely
approximates the original floor plans and specifications when the
building opened in 1939. Other than some changes in gallery spaces[a
Computer Lab was installed in part of the Octogon Gallery in 1983
and a Mezzanine level, for offices, was installed in the East
Gallery(a.k.a. "Hall of Astronomy" or "Hall of the Universe") in the
late 1980s] these floor plans are pretty accurate to this day.
that the enlarged versions
of the architectural floor plans take longer to load onto a computer.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, it cost approximately $100 per hour to operate the Buhl Science Center building for use by the general public. This included operation of the physical plant (i.e. lighting, heating or air-conditioning) and all building exhibits. This did not include the costs of staffing for public operation of the building; staffing costs were additional.
Building Lower Level Floor Plans -
Building Side View Floor Plans -
Other Maps of Buhl Planetarium Building Interior
Links to Buhl Planetarium Listing on
Buhl Planetarium -- Block: 23-R Lot: 103
County of Allegheny Real Estate Web Site
Special Note: When the Allegheny County Real Estate Web Site originally was established, the following links were active and provided information about the Buhl Planetarium building from this Real Estate Web Site. Apparently, due to the fact that the Buhl Planetarium property is owned by the City of Pittsburgh and is exempt from the payment of property taxes, Buhl Planetarium property is no longer included on the web site, and hence, the following links are now dead links.
General Information ***
Photo of Building ***
Architectural Dimensions[Ground Level]
Photographs of The Buhl Planetarium Construction Project(1937-1939)
Over the years, there have been several plans for reuse of The Buhl
Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science building, once it was vacated
by The Carnegie Science Center in February of 1994.
Below is a study, commissioned by the School District of Pittsburgh,
regarding the possible use of the building as part of a campus for the
Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts(CAPA). The Buhl
building, by itself, is much too small to house this high school; hence, a
three floor annex was proposed to be built behind the Pittsburgh
Children's Museum for use as part of the high school, in addition to use
of the Buhl building. This proposed use of the Buhl building was strongly
supported by the North Side Leadership Conference, which is composed of
all of the leaders of all North Side community organizations.
At the conclusion of the study, it was found that renovation of Buhl, and
construction of the three-floor annex, for use by CAPA would cost in the
neighborhood of $20.5 million. The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education
decided that, for that high a cost, they would prefer that CAPA be built
in the Downtown Cultural District, close to other art galleries and
theatres. Soon afterward, a local philanthropist donated a plot of land,
at the corner of Ninth Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard(former site of
a Gulf gasoline station, with a unique sign) in the Downtown Cultural
District, to the School District for
CAPA. Hence, the School District now plans to construct CAPA on this site,
while also using some floors of an adjacent office building for CAPA.
Pittsburgh Board of Public Education
Rogers CAPA, Pittsburgh CAPA & Buhl Planetarium
Submitted by MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni
1997 December 1
Photograph of 1981 play rehearal in Buhl Planetarium's Hall of the Universe
From the Tripoli Rocketry Association, Pittsburgh Prefecture, weekly newletter, Rocket Mail of 1998 June 10 (Volume 6 Number 23).
Disclaimer Statement: This Internet Web page is not affiliated
Henry Buhl, Jr.
Planetarium and Observatory,
Center, or The
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Institute.
This Internet, World Wide Web Site administered by Glenn A. Walsh.
Unless otherwise indicated, all web pages in this account are Copyright
1999-2001, Glenn A. Walsh, All Rights Reserved.
Additions and corrections to:
Last modified : Wednesday, 08-Mar-2023 21:08:37 EST.