These bronze reliefs by Sidney Waugh stand over what was once the main entrance to the Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (to give its full title). From loincloths to lab coats is less of a distance than you might think: Waugh took pains to illustrate the remarkable cleverness of the “primitive” American Indians who had long-distance communication (via smoke signals) and snowshoes, an invention Waugh chose specifically because it arose only in North America and nowhere else. As for Modern Science, we should not underestimate the difficulty of imparting dignity to a figure in a lab coat, a feat Waugh has carried off with aplomb. To a world used to the opposition of modern science against primitive superstition, Waugh presents the two figures as engaged in exactly the same enterprise.
Who was the founder of free libraries in Western Pennsylvania? You might say Andrew Carnegie, but Mr. Carnegie himself will be the first to correct you. As a boy, he spent his Saturdays in the library of Colonel James Anderson, whose selfless example inspired Carnegie to become the greatest patron of libraries in the history of civilization. This monument, put up by Carnegie in 1904 near his Free Library in Allegheny, may look humble at first glance, but for the art Carnegie engaged possibly the greatest American sculptor of all time, Daniel Chester French. It still stands beside the Buhl Planetarium, just across the plaza from the old Carnegie Free Library in Allegheny Center.
The inscription is obviously more recent than the monument, but probably duplicates the wording of a lost plaque:
Allegheny Center is a short walk from the North Side subway station.