Friends of the Zeiss                                                    Statement of

P.O. Box 1041                                                                                 Glenn A. Walsh

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

Telephone: 412-561-7876                                             Pittsburgh City Council:

Electronic Mail: < >               2004 October 12

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.

Per my request, at last week’s Council meeting, City Councilman Bill Peduto reported that three historic pieces of equipment and artifacts, from the original Buhl Planetarium, had not been affected by the flooding of last month and are in good condition. I want to thank Mr. Peduto for his timely report. I am sure that the citizens of Pittsburgh are relieved to know that their Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator’s Projection Map of the World were not affected by the most recent flooding.

However, Mr. Peduto’s information, which came from a September 24 letter from The Carnegie Science Center, included no information about other City-owned Buhl Planetarium artifacts, which had been moved to the Science Center in 1991 or 1994, which I included in my original request. These additional artifacts became City property on the day of Buhl Planetarium’s dedication, October 24, 1939, when the building, and all contents of the building, were conveyed and donated to the City of Pittsburgh by the Buhl Foundation.

This list includes five classic Astronomy “push-button” exhibits, a medium-sized Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator, four Toledo Planetary Weight Scales, as well as Planetarium and Lecture Hall Sound Equipment.


Also on the list are eleven paintings including The Old Astronomer by Daniel Owen Stephens, which has been published in Astronomy textbooks and in a 1961 filmstrip for schools; Copernicus, a portrait of the Polish Astronomer donated by the Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh; two portraits of Henry Buhl, Jr.; and one portrait of his wife, Louise.


These eleven paintings were on display from the day the building opened on October 24, 1939 until the day the building closed as a public museum on August 31, 1991. These paintings have never been displayed to the public at The Carnegie Science Center.


Although not included in the 2002 Memoranda of Understanding between the City and The Carnegie Science Center, these artifacts are City property and should be accounted-for. Certainly, the eleven paintings would have a definite financial value.


In a second written request, copy attached to this statement, I am asking Mr. Peduto to make another inquiry, to The Carnegie Science Center, regarding the location and condition of these additional City-owned assets.

Thank you.                                                                                                                                                                            Gaw