ARAD Testimony Regarding Buhl Planetarium: Sandra Douglas

Transcript of Written Testimony Before the
Board of Directors of the
Allegheny Regional Asset District
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Regular Meeting of the District Board of Directors
Monday, August 27, 2001, 5:30 p.m.
Lower Level Conference Room, United Way Building
One Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-2221

Author: Sandra Douglas

From: Sandra Douglas

To: Board of Directors, Allegheny Regional Asset District

Subject : Re: Buhl Planetarium

Date : Fri, 24 Aug 2001 10:02:59 +0100

The Board of Directors of the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

I live in a small historic town in England and, for many years, have been

interested in conservation. When my attention was drawn to the proposed

removal of the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and the 10-inch Siderostat-type

Refractor Telescope, from The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular

Science, I felt that I should write to you.

In the United Kingdom, the interiors of historic buildings, which are "listed"

by the Government, are protected: this includes such things as those artifacts,

which were made for the building such as chimney pieces. I believe that the

Planning Laws came about because it deemed necessary to protect our heritage

from the erosion that was taking place.

In the U.K., I believe that the proposed removal of such scientific instruments,

from the Planetarium, would be regarded as an application for "demolition" under

the Planning Laws. I do not know if American Planning Laws protect the interiors

of historic buildings but I would, respectfully ask you to consider the removal of these

Instruments very carefully

Some years ago, a Law Lord ruled that, in England, that in

planning, personal considerations should not be taken into account as the

building would survive individuals. I believe that we all have a duty to

preserve our inheritance for future generations. Please retain these

Instruments, intact, within the building, not only for posterity but also

for the History of Science. In England we, in the past, have lost much which

we later came to regret.

Sandra Douglas

Knutsford, Cheshire, England