Friends of the Zeiss Statement Before the Board of the
Telephone: 412-561-7876 2003 June 4
Electronic Mail: < email@example.com >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
Good afternoon, I am Glenn A.
Last month we learned three things:
3) Despite the fact that the Children’s Museum has not raised enough money to complete their proposed expansion project, on Friday evening Friends of the Zeiss learned that the Children’s Museum has completely GUTTED the interiors of BOTH the Planetarium Theater and Astronomical Observatory. The only history remaining is the interior dome and the projector’s Westinghouse “Worm-Gear” Elevator.
Without expansion of the
The entire area, around Three Rivers Stadium, was flooded in June of 1972, due to the remnants of Hurricane Agnes. Despite all of the flood control measures taken in the 1950s as part of Renaissance I, this flood did happen—and similar flooding can happen again!
And, if flooding completely destroys these artifacts, how do you replace a historic 1939 Zeiss II Planetarium Projector? The answer is that you cannot; this history would be gone forever!
Even if the
And, it is cost-prohibitive for any other organization to construct new facilities to house these historic instruments.
The only viable option, now, is to return the Zeiss II Projector, Siderostat Telescope, and Mercator's Projection World Map to the Buhl Planetarium building. The cost to restore the infrastructure DESTROYED BY THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM is extremely modest compared to the cost of building new facilities for these historic instruments.
The only other alternative is
to allow these historic artifacts to rot in the
In general, we oppose
connecting the Buhl Planetarium to the old Allegheny Post Office with a modern
structure, such as the proposed “
We do oppose the obliteration
or removal of any part of the exterior of The Buhl Planetarium and
A second Astronomical quote from the Bible is inscribed on the west exterior wall: “THERE IS ONE GLORY OF THE SUN AND ANOTHER GLORY OF THE MOON AND ANOTHER GLORY OF THE STARS FOR ONE STAR DIFFERETH FROM ANOTHER STAR IN GLORY”
Two years ago, Ms. Jane
Werner, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, told Buhl
Planetarium supporters, including me, in a special meeting at the Children’s
Museum, that the second Astronomical quote from the Bible, on the west exterior
wall of the building, would be retained despite the connection with the “
Hence, we were quite surprised when Ms. Werner, at the Historic Review Commission hearing on March 13 of last year, suggested that keeping the east exterior wall inscription would show a religious preference and may prevent State funding of the project. Would not retaining the west exterior wall inscription, which would end-up inside the expanded museum, have the same result?
Both Astronomical inscriptions, as well as all other inscriptions and statuary on the Buhl Planetarium building, should be kept intact!
Finally, if the Historic Review Commission does choose to approve the proposed “Certificate of Appropriateness, “ we respectfully ask that any such resolution include a statement, to the effect: “This resolution should not be construed to imply the Commission’s approval or disapproval of the proposed changes to the interior of the Buhl Planetarium building.”
We understand that the Historic Review Commission cannot approve or disapprove proposed interior changes to any building. But, the public does not know this. If the public hears that this project is approved by the Historic Review Commission, they will assume that all aspects of the project were approved, not just the exterior changes. Please include such a statement in your resolution, if you choose to award a “Certificate of Appropriateness” to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum for this proposed project.