The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science has now been empty and unused for more than five years, after The Carnegie Science Center transferred their Science and Computer classes to their main building on the North Shore, in February of 1994. The Zeiss II projector (the oldest operating, major planetarium projector in the world!) and the ten-inch, "Siderostat-type" refractor telescope(second largest telescope of its type now in use) remain in the building, along with a handful of other artifacts such as the large World Map(from the 1939 World's Fair in New York City; it was built as the largest Mercator's Projection Map in the world!), the beautiful brass and marble pendulum pit which still shows the true cardinal points of the compass(the Foucault Pendulum has been transferred to The Carnegie Science Center), and the U.S. Steel Mural.
Currently, two organizations are considering reuse of the building. In February, I gave a tour of the Buhl building to the Consortium of Italian American Organizations (CIAO); this is an umbrella group for twenty Italian American organizations in Greater Pittsburgh. They loved the building and historic equipment and artifacts in the building. They are interested in using the building as an Italian American Cultural Center. For instance, the first floor's Great Hall would be used as a grand banquet hall.
This month, the Pittsburgh Public Theater(which had been performing in the Hazlett Theatre of Carnegie Hall, next-door to Buhl) moved into the new O'Reilly Theater in the Downtown Cultural District. With both Buhl and Carnegie Hall now empty, the Pittsburgh Children's Museum is studying the possible reuse of both facilities in an expanded "Children's Center." Jane Werner, who was Exhibits Department Head at the Buhl Science Center in the late 1980s, recently became the new Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum.
October 24 marked the 60th anniversary of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. To commemorate this anniversary, I have created a 16-page Internet web site, on behalf of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, titled "History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science." This web site includes many pictures and documents regarding Buhl's history. This web site can be viewed at the Internet address:
If you do not currently have access to the Internet, remember that all public libraries in Allegheny County provide computers for the public to access the Internet, for no charge; this is partially paid-for by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, from the one-percent sales tax levied in Allegheny County.
Telephone: (412) 561-7876
Telefacsimile: (412) 276-9472
Electronic Mail: GAWalsh@planetarium.cc
Internet Web Site: http://www.planetarium.cc
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 : Sunday, 18-Jun-2000 15:04:11 EDT.
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