Buhl Planetarium

Buhl Planetarium - 1939
The Buhl Planetarium stands next to the Carnegie Music Hall in October of 1939.

Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science is located on the North Side near the Allegheny Center Mall. It is built on the site of the old Allegheny City Hall and next to the Carnegie Music Hall and the Allegheny Post Office. The building was once known as the "Theatre of the Stars."

Construction of the Buhl
Planetarium in October 1938
The Buhl Planetarium on the North Side, under construction in October of 1938.

The Buhl foundation, started in 1927 with a $15,000,000 gift from the Buhl family, donated the planetarium to the city of Pittsburgh. On October 24, 1939, Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science officially opened it's doors as the fifth major planetarium in North America, joining an elite group of planetariums in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Buhl Planetarium

The Buhl quickly established itself and the city of Pittsburgh as leaders in the area of informal science education. During 1940, the Planetarium's first full year of operation, nearly 200,000 visitors were introduced to the wonders of the Universe in a revolutionary environment that foreshadowed the experience of modern science centers.

Buhl Planetarium

In 1991, with the construction of the Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore, the Buhl Planetarium moved to a new home. The Carnegie Science Center gave Pittsburgh a world-class learning environment and a state-of-the-art planetarium facility, designed to give Buhl the tools needed to carry on it's mission well into the 21st century.

Buhl Planetarium and the outdoor fountain
of Allegheny Square in the 1970s.

The Buhl Planetarium on the North Side was officially closed in 1994. Since February 2003, the building, which still houses unique astronomical equipment of historic significance, like the Foucault Pendulum, has been part of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

Buhl Planetarium

For more information on the Henry Buhl Jr Planetarium and Observatory, click here.

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