Friends of the Zeiss                                     Statement Before

P.O. Box 1041                                                            Pittsburgh City Council:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.                2003 February 11

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Electronic Mail: < >

Internet Web Site: < >


Good morning, I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. I am Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss.


Last week, Friends of the Zeiss asked that Pittsburgh City Council consider making a proposed $8 million State funding grant, for the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, contingent on four very reasonable conditions, to ensure historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts could be returned and used some time in the future. We regret that City Council did not discuss our proposal.


Yesterday, Friends of the Zeiss mailed a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, asking that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania make the proposed $8 million capital grant, to the Children’s Museum, contingent on these four conditions:


1) Buhl Planetarium's Theater of the Stars and Zeiss Pit cannot be altered in any which would prevent the return and use, at some future date, of the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector. This would include the retention of the historic Westinghouse "Worm-Gear" Elevator and the Zeiss Control Console.


2) The People's Observatory, on Buhl Planetarium's third floor, cannot be altered in any way which would prevent the return and use, at some future date, of the historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope.


3) A dedicated lighting system, on the ceiling of Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall, should be retained for return and display of "The Rise of Steel Technology" Mural by local artist Nat Youngblood.


4) A comprehensive inventory of all other City-owned artifacts, from Buhl Planetarium, should be compiled, so that these other artifacts are not lost forever. The inventory previously compiled and included in the Children’s Museum Lease is not complete.


None of these conditions would seriously hinder the programming of the Children's Museum in the Buhl Planetarium.
We urge all Pittsburgh-area residents to support our request to the Governor, to maintain the history and heritage of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
To learn how you can send a short message to the Governor, supporting our request, go to the Friends of the Zeiss Internet web site at < > or telephone: 412-561-7876. Again, the Friends of the Zeiss Internet web site is located at < >. The telephone number is 412-561-7876. 

Thank you.