Friends of the Zeiss

P.O. Box 1041                                                                   

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Electronic Mail: < >

Internet Web Site: < >


                       NEWS RELEASE


For immediate release: 2005 February 28

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

      Daytime: E-Mail < >

      Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876






Pittsburgh, Feb. 28 – The proposed designation of Pittsburgh’s original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, as a City-Designated Historic Structure, will be considered during a public hearing before the Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh on Wednesday Afternoon, March 2, 2005 at 3:25 p.m. All residents of the City of Pittsburgh, and vicinity, are welcome and encouraged to attend and testify regarding this proposed historic designation. Citizens do not have to pre-register to testify at this public hearing.


This public hearing will be held in the first floor hearing room of the John P. Robin Civic Building, 200 Ross Street (corner of Ross Street and Second Avenue) in Downtown Pittsburgh. This historic designation is proposed by Friends of the Zeiss, a non-profit organization working to preserve the original Buhl Planetarium, and the functionality of its historic equipment and artifacts, for the benefit of the residents of Western Pennsylvania.


Following this public hearing, at the April meeting, the Historic Review Commission will vote whether to recommend, to Pittsburgh City Council, the historic designation of Buhl Planetarium. Later this year, Pittsburgh City Council will make the final determination on the proposal, following their own public hearing.


The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science operated as Pittsburgh’s main planetarium and science museum from 1939 to 1991, and as a tutorial center for Carnegie Science Center science and computer classes until 1994. The building is currently being used as part of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Prior to its dismantling in October of 2002, Buhl Planetarium’s original Zeiss II Planetarium Projector was the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world!


A Preliminary Determination Hearing on the nomination occurred on February 2. Five area residents testified, at that time, before the Historic Review Commission, all in favor of the nomination; this included the Project Director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the current tenant of the Buhl Planetarium building. Following the February 2 hearing, the Historic Review Commission, by a unanimous vote, approved preliminary approval of the nomination, pending the March 2 hearing.


The historic designation nomination application is available for public inspection, in its entirety, at the following Internet link:


< >


or by going to the Friends of the Zeiss web site cover page at < >.


The agenda for the March 2 meeting of the Historic Review Commission can be accessed on the Internet at:


< >


For more information on the March 2 public hearing:


                    Telephone: 412-561-7876


                    Electronic Mail: < >


                                                                                 - 30 -
Glenn A. Walsh
Electronic Mail - < > 
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: 
  < > 
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: 
  < >
* Astronomer & Optician John A. Brashear: 
  < > 
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: 
  < > 
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh: 
  < >