Friends of the Zeiss Statement Before the Board of the
Telephone: 412-561-7876 2005 April 6
Electronic Mail: < email@example.com >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
Good afternoon, I am Glenn A. Walsh of
Today’s hearing is to determine that the nominated property, The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, is eligible to be approved as a City-Designated Historic Structure.
First, in general, consider these facts:
The original Buhl Planetarium had several historic firsts:
Ø First planetarium projector placed on an elevator, to increase flexibility in the Theater of the Stars;
Ø First planetarium theater which included a permanent theatrical stage;
Ø First planetarium theater (and, perhaps, first theater) to install a special sound system specifically for the hearing impaired—remember, this was in 1939!
Ø First publicly-owned building in the City (and, possibly, the State) constructed with air-conditioning;
Ø First permanent Siderostat Telescope specifically designed for public use;
First regional Science
Fair, for school students, in the country started at Buhl Planetarium in the
Spring of 1940. Only two state-wide
science fairs are older than the annual
Additionally, for more than 50 years, Buhl Planetarium housed an exhibit that was considered the largest Mercator’s Projection Map in the world! And, the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, which operated as Buhl Planetarium’s main projector for more than 53 years, was the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world before being dismantled in October of 2002.
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science
was the first permanent museum in
What I have just described is incredibly important
history, not only for
Yet, as technology marches on, and so-called
“progress” has resulted in a new
The official designation of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science as a City-Designated Historic Structure, by the City of Pittsburgh, would serve to ensure that residents of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania remember this important history and heritage, and protect the beautiful building where it all happened!
these reasons, I urge the Historic Review Commission of
Attached to this statement is another letter, from a citizen who could not attend today’s hearing, who also supports the historic designation of Buhl Planetarium.