Public Hearing Before Glenn
Council: P.O. Box 1041
City Designated Historic Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Status For Telephone: 412-561-7876
Andrew Carnegie-Built Electronic Mail: < email@example.com >
Mt. Washington Branch
Library Internet Web Site: <
Good afternoon. I am Glenn A.
Walsh of 633
Mount Lebanon. Today, I am representing no formal organization.
1995-2000, I served as a Life Trustee, on the Board of Trustees, of one of
Andrew Carnegie’s original libraries: the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and
Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, which opened in 1901. I
served as the Library’s Treasurer from 1995-1996. I was the Consulting Editor
for the April, 1999 issue of Cobblestone,
a national history magazine for children; the theme of this issue was the life
and philanthropies of Andrew Carnegie. And, I maintain an educational web site,
on the Internet, on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >.
The Mt. Washington Branch
Library, a well-known and loved landmark in the Mt. Washington neighborhood, is unique because it is the only
library branch in which building construction received financial contributions
from the neighborhood, in addition to the Andrew Carnegie library grant. In
1900, the Mt. Washington neighborhood made the decision that this library is
so important, it should sit on a prominent site on Grandview Avenue, overlooking the City of Pittsburgh. As they also did more than 60 years later, when the
neighborhood raised money to save The Duquesne Incline, in 1900 the
neighborhood raised the money needed to secure the prominent Grandview Avenue location for their new library.
Unlike other cities, such as New York and Baltimore which each had four or five neighborhood library
branches, Andrew Carnegie proposed a neighborhood branch library plan which
would effectively serve the entire City of Pittsburgh! Most of these libraries have been focal points for
their respective neighborhoods for more than a century! The eight original
neighborhood library branch buildings, each a gift to each neighborhood from
local steelmaker and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, are a matter of
neighborhood pride. And they are among the most distinguished buildings in each
community; they are truly icons of the neighborhood.
neighborhoods, such as Hazelwood, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington, and the West End, encounter
many challenges to their financial viability and livability. Monumental
buildings, such as the five libraries nominated for historic designation, serve
as part of the foundation of each neighborhood, helping to counter the social
forces which lead to neighborhood disintegration and deterioration. Indeed, as
centers of culture, these libraries have assisted in bringing neighborhood
Providing protection, by
designation as a City Designated Historic Structure through the Historic Review
ordinance, of these very valuable neighborhood assets, the City of Pittsburgh would be affirming that these monumental buildings
should continue their leading role in neighborhood revitalization.
I strongly recommend that
Pittsburgh City Council approve Bill No. 284, conferring the status of City
Designated Historic Structure on the Mt. Washington Branch of The Carnegie
Library of Pittsburgh.