Statement before                 Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council:              P.O. Box 1041

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

     Historic Hazelwood                  Telephone: 412-561-7876

       Library Building              Electronic Mail: < >

                                                             Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2004 March 16


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


Despite the opposition of the majority of residents in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood, Carnegie Library closed the historic Hazelwood Library building built by Andrew Carnegie in 1900, on Saturday  at 5:00 p.m. The library will be moved to a site, only three blocks away, although the opening date of this new library has only been vaguely announced as the end of March. A temporary, five-year lease has been signed for this new library space.


If this library move must go forward, at this time, then Carnegie Library must begin fundraising and planning for rehabilitation of the historic Hazelwood Library building, to allow the return of the library branch to the historic Hazelwood Library building at the end of the five-year lease. If the library is not returned to the historic Hazelwood Library building, this building will sit empty and unused for many years, as did the Buhl Planetarium building.


Deferred maintenance of the historic Hazelwood Library building, by Carnegie Library, has resulted in a building with many needs:

1)       A new roof

2)       ADA accessibility for the library level and handicapped restrooms

3)       Updated heating, ventilation, electrical, and water systems—and, eventually air conditioning

4)       Area for parking


Any new tenant of this building would be responsible for meeting these many needs. But, why would any potential tenant want to deal with these problems—particularly considering that a lot of new office space will be built a few blocks away, in the J&L development site, in the next few years? In its deplorable condition, this library building will not be able to compete with the new developments in the neighborhood.


So, the historic Hazelwood Library building will continue as another boarded-up eyesore, in the neighborhood, for many years to come.


Pittsburgh City Council must tell Carnegie Library that they must live-up to their responsibilities to the community of Hazelwood, just as they did in the neighborhood of Homewood. In the twenty-first century, abandoning a historic building, and allowing the building to remain as a boarded-up eyesore in the neighborhood for many years, is unacceptable.


The historic Hazelwood Library building was built to be a library. And, in its current deplorable condition, no one will want to rent the building from the City. Do you want this City building to be a continuing vacant, eyesore, as Hazelwood tries to rebuild its neighborhood? If not, then you must tell Carnegie Library to begin planning and fundraising for rehabilitation of the historic Hazelwood Library building and return to the building after the fire-year lease expires.


Thank you.