Author: William Blair
From: William Blair
To: Board of Directors, Allegheny Regional Asset District
Subject : Buhl Planetarium
Date : Sat, 25 Aug 2001 13:33:04 -0400Board of Directors Allegheny Regional Asset District
I am very concerned when a valuable piece of Pittsburgh is in jeopardy.
I was distressed to learn that the Planetarium was going to lose the
area with the irreplaceable Zeiss projector. I understand that this is thelast of its kind.
The Children's Museum is a wonderful project. I would
just hope that they could utilize the Planetarium Building space in such
a way as to preserve the utilization of the projector. Just like the
modern effects in movies, sometimes the older more precise effects have
an impact which is valuable to maintain.
I understand the star field of the Zeiss II is unsurpassed. Also that taking
apart and reassembly is a complex task that might not in any way equal the original.
Since the building itself is designed as a planetarium some of the original purpose
should follow the function of the building itself.
Because of it art deco style, it is most likely one of the most important public
structures of this period in the area. As so many preservationists know, buildings, or
integral parts of them, cannot be retrieved after they are dismantled or
tom down. The building is very well located for an extension of the
Children's museum, but it would be hoped that what is now a valuable
artifact of sorts could be incorporated into the design.
The auditorium could be adapted to multiple uses. The planetarium part might be a
drawing point for children as star shows were in the past. It is a long
way to the Science Center when an opportunity for a star show could be
set up at the Buhl and even such a unique apparatus as the Zeiss II
could be of interest. I hoped a mixed and integrated use can be put to
this building and historical equipment so that it will be available for
BRADDOCK CARNEGIE LIBRARY