Friends of the Zeiss†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††
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Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
2004 September 20
Bill Peduto, Chairman
Committee on General Services, Technology and the Arts
Council of the City of
Re: Possible Flood Damage to Historic Buhl Planetarium Equipment and Artifacts
Dear Mr. Peduto:
In 2002, the City of
In addition to the three pieces of equipment and artifacts mentioned in the first paragraph, several other pieces of historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts may be in this warehouse. Attached is an inventory of these additional City-owned assets. I am aware that three of the artifacts on this inventory
4-inch Zeiss Terrestrial
746-Pound Iron-Nickel Meteorite, and the Fairbanks-Morse
Planetary Weight Scale) are actually being used in The Carnegie Science Center.
However, I am not aware of the specific location of the other artifacts listed;
these may also be in storage in the
The flooding this past
weekend, from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan, was not as bad on
However, it is quite possible
that rain runoff, from the very heavy rains on Friday, did enter the warehouse
and may have affected the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts.
Early Saturday evening, just after the
†I heard a rumor that water backed-up through the drains flooding the inside of the warehouse. The rumor also indicated that not all of the sump-pumps, which would pump water out of the building, were operating properly. Of course, I have no way of confirming this rumor.
From the rain runoff flooding
I did observe outside of the warehouse, there is a definite possibility that
some of this water may have entered the warehouse and affected the historic
Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts. Please note that although the
Bill Peduto†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2004 September 20†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Page 2 of 2
historic equipment such as the Zeiss II Projector, which prior to dismantling was the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world, could not be replaced if damaged by flood waters.
With this letter, I am asking that you investigate this matter, regarding the current status of important City-owned equipment and artifacts. Please make an inquiry to The Carnegie Science Center management asking three questions:
1)†††††††††††† Was there any flooding in The Carnegie Science Center warehouse this past weekend, and did this flooding have any affect on the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts?
2)†††††††††††† What is the current condition of the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts stored in this warehouse?
3)†††††††††††† What steps are being taken, by The Carnegie Science Center, to prevent damage to the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts, by a future flood event?
I would ask that the results of your investigation be reported to City Council and the public at a City Council meeting within the next few weeks.
Glenn A. Walsh\
Copy:†††† Members of the Council of the City of
††††††††††††††† Tom Murphy, Mayor, City of
††††††††††††††† Tom Flaherty, City Controller, City of
††††††††††††††† Dale A. Perrett, Director, City of
††††††††††††††† Members of the Board of Directors, Allegheny Regional Asset District
††††††††††††††† David Donahoe, Executive Director, Allegheny Regional Asset District
††††††††††††††† Members of the Allegheny
††††††††††††††† Members of Friends of the Zeiss
††††††††††††††† News Media Representatives
††††††††††††††† Interested Members of the General Public