Friends of the Zeiss                                     Statement Before Board of Directors,

P.O. Box 1041                                                                    Allegheny Regional Asset District:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.                                       2003 June 2

Telephone: 412-561-7876

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Internet Web Site: < >


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


Last month we learned three things:


1)       The Carnegie Science Center discharged the French architect for the proposed Science Center expansion.

2)       The State MAY NOT fund the proposed expansion project of the Children’s Museum.

3)       Despite the fact that the Children’s Museum has not raised enough money to complete their proposed expansion project, on Friday evening Friends of the Zeiss learned that the Children’s Museum has completely GUTTED the interiors of BOTH the Planetarium Theater and Astronomical Observatory.  The only history remaining is the interior dome and the projector’s Westinghouse “Worm-Gear” Elevator.


The Science Center no longer has an expansion project. And the future of the Children’s Museum expansion project is definitely in jeopardy.


Without expansion of the Science Center the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Sidersotat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator’s Projection Map of the World will remain dismantled indefinitely—possibly forever! AND, the dismantled parts of these historic pieces of Pittsburgh history will remain in storage in the Science Center warehouse—across the street from the Science Center. This one-floor and basement warehouse is in a flood plain—a flood plain that has been flooded within the last 31 years !


The entire area, around Three Rivers Stadium, was flooded in June of 1972, due to the remnants of Hurricane Agnes. Despite all of the flood control measures taken in the 1950s as part of Renaissance I, this flood did happen—and similar flooding can happen again!


If flooding completely destroys these artifacts, how do you replace a historic 1939 Zeiss II Planetarium Projector? The answer is that you cannot; this history would be gone forever!


Even if the Science Center does complete a modest expansion in the next ten years or more, the scaled-down project will omit much of what was originally proposed. And, reassembly of the historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts will likely not be included in any reconfigured project. Since the 1995 attempt to sell the Zeiss Projector and Siderostat Telescope to out-of-state interests, it has been clear that historic artifacts rate a very low priority with The Carnegie Science Center.


And, it is cost-prohibitive for any other organization to construct new facilities to house these historic instruments.


The only viable option, now, is to return the Zeiss II Projector, Siderostat Telescope, and Mercator's Projection World Map to the Buhl Planetarium building. The cost to restore the infrastructure DESTROYED BY THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM is extremely modest compared to the cost of building new facilities for these historic instruments.


The only other alternative is to allow these historic artifacts to rot in the Science Center's warehouse, until there is a flood and they are totally destroyed.


We, respectfully, ask that the Allegheny Regional Asset District request The Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, and the City of Pittsburgh to allow the return of these historic artifacts to the Buhl Planetarium building, to assure their actual preservation and eventual reuse for the benefit of the residents of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.


Thank you.