Friends of the Zeiss Statement of
Telephone: 412-561-7876 Allegheny Regional
Electronic Mail: < email@example.com > Asset District:
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org > 2004 October 25
Good evening, I am Glenn A. Walsh of
Last month, the
Museum management told The
Washington Post that the museum opened without enough money to sustain the
museum's plans and to advertise its content. Through August, the museum had
attracted only 36,500 paying patrons, far short of the 100,000 to 450,000.that
had been projected--despite being located across the street from a newly-opened
The same type of wishful thinking, which occurred in Washington, is also reflected in the business plan of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, despite the Children's Museum's $2.4 million accumulated operating deficit over the last five years!
According to the Children's Museum business plan:
1) They will annually receive $112,000 in rentals, as well
as another $32,000 from fee-based services, from six non-profit organizations.
I wonder how some of these non-profits will be able to sustain these payments.
For instance, the
2) The Children's Museum expects to receive $1 per visitor per year from the cafe/restaurant, a non-profit "industry standard." Yet, this could be a golden opportunity to bring in additional revenue!
When the Allegheny Center Mall was converted to an office
building several years ago, Pappan's Family Restaurant, Northern Meat Market, Tavern
on the Square, and a half-dozen restaurants in the Terrace Level Food Court
closed. Earlier this year, Wendy's Restaurant also closed. A good quality
restaurant in the Children's Museum could compete for the lunch crowd from the
3) As with the attendance projections in Washington, it is difficult to see how the Children's Museum will nearly double their attendance, as promised in the business plan, particularly now with $2 a gallon gasoline. To stay financially solvent, additional adult visitors will be needed.
To avoid the fates of the City Museum of Washington and COSI, and the problems of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, I, again, urge this Board to insist that the Children's Museum expand their mission statement to appeal to adults with the return of the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts to the Buhl Planetarium building, which opened to the public 65 years ago today!
Thank you. gaw