It has been a very active year at the Foundation. The Board of Directors has engaged in an extensive examination of priorities in the light of changing community needs. The Foundation will retain its opportunistic outlook but recognizes that it should not venture into fields with which it is not sufficiently acquainted such as medicine and public health. It also recognizes that the use of information technology, which has been a focus for the Foundation, is now commonplace. Therefore, it will only entertain technology proposals which break new grounds.
Several areas of continuing interest include job preparedness, teacher training and science education. Of particular concern is the engagement of disadvantaged young people in education and work.
The Foundation believes that civic improvement is particularly important at this time. The city is in transition to a time when quality of life is a driver of economic development and where downtown must become a distinctive cultural neighborhood. The North Side area of Pittsburgh, where Henry Buhl, Jr. lived, worked and is buried, remains of special interest.
On the local level, on July 26, Pittsburgh City Council designated the former Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science as a City Historic Structure. It was completed in 1939, designed by architects Ingham and Boyd. In 1994, the Planetarium became a component of Carnegie Institute until a new science center was built on the riverfront. The then vacant building was reopened in 2005 with support of the Foundation as an integrated extension of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.