Friends of the Zeiss
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Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
For immediate release: 2003 October 20
For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:
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Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM BUSINESS PLAN GIVES ROSY ATTENDANCE PROJECTIONS
Mr. Walsh said, “Let’s look at the record. In Fiscal Year 2001, the Children’s Museum claimed an attendance of 110,000. The following year, attendance dropped to 92,488. Last year, attendance bounced-back somewhat to 104,672.” Although the business plan states that attendance will level-off to 160,000 by 2007, Mr. Walsh noted, “To put this in perspective, in the 1980s, the Buhl Planetarium building had an annual attendance of about 250,000, in a building half the size of the proposed Children’s Museum after expansion!”
Mr. Walsh went on to say,
“The problem is that this plan assumes the old adage, “build it and they will
come.” Just because the Children’s Museum increases capacity by four times, the
plan assumes that there will, automatically, be a huge increase in attendance.
This did not happen with the 1991 opening of The Carnegie Science Center or the
1996 opening of the
Mr. Walsh concluded by saying, “If the Children’s Museum expansion project must go forward, then additional revenue sources must be found for operating the expanded building. To maximize the revenue potential of the Buhl Planetarium building, and attendance to the expanded Children’s Museum, we ask that this Board insist that the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope be returned to the Buhl Planetarium building for historical presentations in the expanded Museum.”
Friends of the Zeiss was formally organized in April of 2002, with the mission "To preserve, maintain and operate, and to raise funds for these purposes, two historic scientific instruments and associated apparatus and artifacts originated at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."
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Addendum – Annual deficits of
Children’s Museum, according to their FY 2004 grant application to
FY 2000: $77,407; FY 2001: $206,149; FY 2002: 555,559; FY 2003: $649,421
Attachment (on reverse side): Text of Statement of Glenn A. Walsh Before ARAD Board, 2003 October 20.