For immediate release: 2006 September 14

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

                    Daytime: E-Mail < >

                    Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876

                    Internet Web Site: < >


Carnegie Library Seeks to Abandon First Publicly-Funded Carnegie Library Building,

In Neighborhood of Andrew Carnegie’s Youth,

    With No Input From the General Public


Pittsburgh, Sept. 14 –  The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has announced a decision to abandon Andrew Carnegie’s first publicly-funded Carnegie Library building in the country, (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Regional Branch, on the Lower North Side of Pittsburgh) with no  input from the general public, in favor of a new library on a vacant lot. In prepared statements this week before Pittsburgh City Council and the Board of Directors of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Andrew Carnegie historian Glenn A. Walsh asked “that all further planning for the future of the Allegheny Regional Branch Library building be done in well-publicized public meetings open to everyone. A decision to move a library branch should be from a consensus of the people in the neighborhood, not a decision made behind closed-doors in Oakland!”


In his statements, Mr. Walsh pointed-out:


1)       Consultation with North Side civic leaders is not a substitute for input from the general public;

2)       There is no plan or funding for construction of a new library;

3)       The city’s oldest library, owned by the City, was completely renovated in the 1970s, and thus is not outdated as a library building;

4)       The Allegheny Regional Branch Library, in the original site, was the fourth busiest library in the city;

5)       Carnegie Library’s expressed wish to see the Library building reused is disingenuous; Carnegie Library expressed the same wish three years ago regarding the historic Hazelwood Branch Library and Auditorium, and the Hazelwood Library building today sits empty and unused;

6)       Andrew Carnegie grew-up in the neighborhood and selected the site for the Library, and he commissioned a memorial outside the Library building in honor of his mentor, Col. James Anderson, who had started the city’s first public library;

7)       Allegheny Regional Branch Library was the first of 1,677 publicly-funded Carnegie Libraries in the United States.


Former Allegheny Regional Branch Librarian Stephen Pietzak, in a separate public statement, added, “The Library was designed and built by Smithmeyer and Pelz, the architects of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. If the Allegheny Branch is considered to be a poor design, then we should also consider abandoning the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as a poor design.”


- 30 -


For more details read the statements at these links:


Pittsburgh City Council – 2006 September 12 – Statement of Stephen Pietzak:

< >



Pittsburgh City Council – 2006 September 12 – Statement of Glenn A. Walsh --

Prepared Text:

< >

Large-Print Version:

< >


Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh – 2006 September 14 – Statement of Glenn A. Walsh --

Prepared Text:

< >

Large-Print Version:

< >


Note to Editors and Reporters:


Stephen Pietzak was employed as the main Reference Librarian, at the Allegheny Regional Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, for 13 years in the late 1980s and most of the 1990s. Mr. Pietzak’s comments are his own and do not reflect the position of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


Glenn A. Walsh was a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, 1995 – 2000, serving as the Library Treasurer, 1995 – 1996. Mr. Walsh was the Consulting Editor for the April, 1999 issue of Cobblestone magazine (national history magazine for children), when the theme of the issue was the life and philanthropies of Andrew Carnegie. Since 1999, Mr. Walsh has also maintained an Internet web site on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries at:

< >. Mr. Walsh’s comments are his own and do not reflect the position of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall.