Statement before                    Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council --          P.O. Box 1041

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

     Library Building:                         Telephone: 412-561-7876

     Post-City Council              Electronic Mail: < >

        Public Hearing                               Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2003 November 10


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. Today, I am representing no formal organization.


Last Wednesday, you heard from the people of the City of Pittsburgh, particularly those living in the neighborhood of Hazelwood, that they want to keep their library in the 103-year-old Andrew Carnegie-built building on Monongahela Street, and that they want that wonderful and historic building to be kept open and Free to the People, as is inscribed above the Library entrance.


The historic Hazelwood Branch Library building is owned by the City of Pittsburgh. Carnegie Library’s abandonment of this building will mean that there will be, yet, another boarded-up building in the neighborhood for many years to come. Due to the dilapidated state of the building, due to Carnegie Library’s deferred maintenance, no one will want to lease that building anytime soon—if ever! Just look how long it took to receive a firm proposal for the reuse of the Buhl Planetarium building, abandoned by The Carnegie Science Center in February of 1994!


Yes, at last week’s hearing, you did hear from a few people who support moving the Library. These people were primarily from one organization, the Hazelwood Initiative, which does not represent the interests of the entire neighborhood.  Indeed, two other neighborhood organizations, Greater Hazelwood Development, Inc. and the Glen Hazel Citizens Association/CDC are vehemently opposed to moving the Library. And, as you heard, the majority of speakers at the hearing, also, opposed moving the Library.


So, we have now had two public meetings, widely publicized and open to everyone: the neighborhood meeting of September 9 and the public hearing of November 5. At both meetings, the result was the same: the majority of attendees oppose moving the Library.


Yet, there is no indication that Carnegie Library will even reconsider their plans to move the Library! Indeed, according to the November 5 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a lease has been signed for the proposed new library site; it is unclear, at this point, if this lease has been ratified by the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees.


Operation of Carnegie Library is paid for, almost exclusively, by County and State taxpayers. But, the officials of Carnegie Library are now ignoring the wishes of these taxpayers! What good is City Council representation, for City residents, if public funding is provided to a private organization, which then ignores the wishes of City residents?


Unfortunately, Mr. Sciulli, the district representative for Hazelwood, does not serve on the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees.


Mr. Ricciardi, Ms. Burns, Mr. Motznik, Mr. Peduto, Mr. Udin. You do serve on the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees. The residents of Hazelwood need your help in this matter. I ask that you use your influence, as Carnegie Library Board members, to impress upon Library officials that they cannot ignore the wishes of the taxpayers that pay for Carnegie Library. And, as the majority of Hazelwood residents oppose the proposed Library move, Carnegie Library’s plans to abandon the historic Hazelwood Library building should be cancelled.


Thank you.