Glenn A. Walsh

P.O. Box 1041

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041

Telephone: 412-561-7876

E-Mail: < >

Web Site: < >

Statement Before the

Council of the City of Pittsburgh

Regarding the RFP for Disposition of

Buhl Planetarium Equipment

2002 May 28

Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh. I reside at 633 Royce Avenue in Mount Lebanon.

This morning, I provided the City Council receptionist with copies of Friends of the Zeiss' official Response to the Request for Proposals regarding Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts, for each member of City Council. Also, any member of the public can read this RFP Response, in its entirety, on our Internet web site, by going to < > or < >. Once again, anyone can read our RFP Response, in its entirety on the Internet, by going to either < > or

< >.

In our response, we do recommend that the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, now the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world, and the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, the second largest of its unique type, remain in their original installation in Buhl Planetarium. There would have been no RFP process at all, had there not been complaints regarding the possible relocation of these two historic instruments. Hence, we consider the relocation clause in the RFP to be simply one option, of several possible options, which should be evaluated equally by the City of Pittsburgh.

According to Friday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, apparently The Carnegie Science Center proposal will cost $100,000. There is no doubt that the majority of this cost will be for dismantling, transport, storage, and, perhaps, reassembly sometime in the future.

What a waste of foundation or governmental grant money! The Science Center could install one or more major exhibits or programs for that $100,000. And, the Zeiss projector and Siderostat telescope could continue educating children, in their original installation, for a fraction of that cost!

More than once, Children's Museum officials have stated that offering Astronomy and Space Science programs, in a planetarium, is not within their mission statement. Yet, beginning June 15, their major Summer exhibit will be titled, "Planetary Landscapes, Sculpting the Solar System." The Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California produced this travelling exhibit, which will be on display until September 8.

Friends of the Zeiss is in the process of receiving 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, which will allow us to raise funds to implement our proposal. However, as this is all City property, we will not be able to raise any money without the support of the City of Pittsburgh.

Due to extensive media coverage of this controversy, most people, including foundation executives, believe that The Carnegie Science Center will lease the historic equipment. Under these circumstances, we have no chance of raising funds to implement our proposal. In order to be able to fulfill the recommendations, provided in our official Response to the RFP, we need the public support of the City of Pittsburgh.

Please help us, help you preserve the historic equipment and artifacts of Buhl Planetarium.

Thank you.


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

On the Internet: < >