Friends of the Zeiss

P.O. Box 1041

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

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Electronic Mail: < >

Internet Web Site: < >


2005 February 22


Paul S. Korol

26 Belvidere Street

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15205-2819


Dear Mr. Korol:


Last month, Jen Kissel of the Pittsburgh Senior News gave me permission, I understand with your authorization, to reprint your history article regarding the Boggs and Buhl Department Store on my Internet web site --


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

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Thank you so much for permission to reprint this article. It is one of the best history articles I have seen on the store that provided the wealth for Henry Buhl, Jr., eventually leading to the construction of Buhl Planetarium.


Enclosed is a copy of the web page, containing your history article.

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You will note that I added a short addendum, completely separate from your article and following your article, regarding the closing of Boggs and Buhl. You can learn more about the history of Buhl Planetarium at the Internet web page listed in the second paragraph.


I was employed with Buhl Planetarium from 1982-1991, and I wore many hats during that tenure, including Astronomical Observatory Coordinator, Planetarium Lecturer, and Curator of a rather unique exhibit, the BioCorner, where we hatched chicks each weekend!


I am now Project Director of a small non-profit organization, called Friends of the Zeiss. We are concerned about the future of the historic equipment and artifacts from Buhl Planetarium, most of which are now in storage. We believe this is a waste of such valuable artifacts and continue to lobby for the artifacts return to Buhl Planetarium.


Particularly for two important pieces of equipment, the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, they can be used nowhere else, as the Buhl Planetarium building was custom-built for these two instruments. Prior to its dismantling in October of 2002, the Zeiss Projector was the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !


At the present time, Friends of the Zeiss has nominated the Buhl Planetarium building for designation as a historic landmark. Although there was a preliminary public hearing on this nomination this month, the main public hearing before the Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh will be on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 at 3:25 p.m. 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 building is on the edge of Pittsburghs original Chinatown, across Ross Street from the Chinatown Inn restaurant [amazingly, this is one of two Chinese restaurants which still exist in what is left of Pittsburghs Chinatown!].

Paul S. Korol 2005 February 22 Page 2 of 2




With your interest in history, perhaps you would be interested in testifying in favor of this nomination at this public hearing? You would not have to say much. You would simply state your reasons for supporting the designation of Buhl Planetarium as a historic landmark


If you would be interested in testifying, I would be happy to talk to you about the public hearing process. You could telephone me at 412-561-7876. I am also enclosing a copy of the statement I delivered at the preliminary hearing this month, to give you an idea of the rich history of Buhl Planetarium.


Again, thank you so much for allowing us to archive your article on the Internet, so people can learn more about Henry Buhl, Jr. and the Boggs and Buhl Department Store.


Sincerely yours,





Glenn A. Walsh

Project Director




Enclosures 2