Statement Before the

Statement Before the Glenn A. Walsh

Council of the City of Pittsburgh P.O. Box 1041

Regarding Historic City Artifacts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041

The Buhl Planetarium Telephone: 412-561-7876

2001 November 20 E-Mail: < >

Web Site: < >

Good afternoon. My name is Glenn A. Walsh; I reside at 633 Royce Avenue in Mount Lebanon.

Last week, during the Post-Agenda meeting on the proposed Pittsburgh Children's Museum and Center, only four Buhl Planetarium artifacts, owned by the City of Pittsburgh, were discussed. There are several smaller artifacts that remain in the building.

Today I will provide to the City Clerk, for distribution to each Council member, a copy of a comprehensive inventory of all City property related to Buhl Planetarium. I compiled this inventory during two visits to Buhl Planetarium, when I conducted tours for prospective tenants--March of 1996 during a tour for the School District of Pittsburgh and February of 1998 during a tour for the Consortium of Italian-American Organizations.

As you will see, other artifacts remaining in the building include a painting of Halley's Comet, original glass Astronomical transparencies, and three artifacts used for Science demonstrations in the Little Science Theater: Epideoscope--antique overhead microscopic projector; large, older Oscilloscope; and Science Laboratory Demonstration Table. These and other smaller artifacts do not need to remain in the building, but should not be discarded. Although there may be a few artifacts, such as the Laboratory Demonstration Table, which could be reused by the Children's Museum.

Also, included in this inventory, is City property, which was transferred to The Carnegie Science Center. This includes artifacts such as the Foucault Pendulum, 746-pound Iron-Nickel Meteorite, and a 4-inch Zeiss Terrestrial Refractor Telescope. As long as these artifacts were used for the benefit of the public, I have not complained about their transfer to the Science Center. However, I want you to know that the City does own these artifacts, and the Science Center has no legal right to sell or otherwise dispose of these artifacts without City permission.

The key thing to remember, when determining what is legally City property, is that anything, which was in the Buhl, Planetarium building on the day of dedication, October 24, 1939, is City property. On the day of dedication, the Buhl Foundation conveyed the building and all contents of the building to the City of Pittsburgh as a gift.

Although the Siderostat-type telescope was not dedicated until 1941, it was under contract in 1939. This contract is one of the assets conveyed to the City by the Buhl Foundation. Hence, the Siderostat-type telescope is also City property.

Once you have had a chance to look through this inventory, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you.


History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh

On the Internet: < >