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: 2002 November 4
For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:
Daytime: E-Mail < >
Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876

Science Center May Not Legally Lease Buhl Planetarium Artifacts

Pittsburgh, Nov. 4: Due to a lack of financing, The Carnegie Science Center may not legally lease three artifacts from the original Buhl Planetarium, according to Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss.

In late June, The Carnegie Science Center won the bid to lease three artifacts:

1) Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, now the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world!

2) 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, second largest of its unique type.

3) Mercator's Projection Map of the World, largest such map, when first unveiled at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City.

However, the Request for Proposals[RFP] issued by the City of Pittsburgh in April, for lease of the Buhl Planetarium artifacts, requires "Complete and secured financing arrangements." In the just-released copy of the Science Center's response to this RFP, the Science Center admits it does not have the entire $111,020 needed to complete their proposed project.

In fact, in the Science Center's RFP response, it states: "CSC is prepared to raise funds to cover design and fabrication of display costs, but will require others to meet the costs prior to storage."

In a November 4 letter to the City, Friends of the Zeiss points out the legal problems with the proposed lease of the artifacts to the Science Center. Mr. Walsh also addressed Pittsburgh City Council, this morning, regarding this issue.

Mr. Walsh further states, in both the letter and statement before City Council:

"Until there is some certainty regarding the Children's Museum's proposed expansion project, it makes no sense to go through the risky procedure of dismantling and storing precision instruments and artifacts, with irreplaceable parts. And, the projected dates to reassemble the artifacts, given in the Science Center's RFP response, are meaningless when the Science Center still has to raise $62-90 million to reconstruct their building.

Premature removal of these artifacts, and alterations of the Buhl Planetarium building, will result in:

1) Historic equipment and artifacts that remain disassembled for an indefinite length of time, or possibly forever, providing no benefit to the residents of the City; and

2) A building, which may be unusable for its original purpose, should the Children's Museum make certain building alterations yet is unable to complete the project and terminates the Lease Agreement."

In the letter, Friends of the Zeiss offers to help the City, in cooperation with The Carnegie Science Center, maintain these historic artifacts, while they continue to reside in the Buhl Planetarium building.

Friends of the Zeiss was created in the Spring, to propose and implement a plan to preserve the historic equipment and artifacts of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, including preservation of the complete functionality of the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope.

For more information, see the following Internet web pages:

November 4 letter to City of Pittsburgh:
< >

November 4 statement before Pittsburgh City Council:
< >

City of Pittsburgh RFP:
< >

Friends of the Zeiss response to City RFP:
< >

Friends of the Zeiss cover page:
< >



Glenn A. Walsh - Electronic Mail:
Author of History Web Sites on Internet-
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
* Astronomer John Brashear:
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
* Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh: