Statement before the                Glenn A. Walsh

      Council of the                           P.O. Box 1041

  City of Pittsburgh:                  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

    Displacement of          Telephone: 412-561-7876

 Historic Carnegie Free  Electronic Mail: < >

 Library of Allegheny     Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                        2006 November 13


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today, I am speaking as a private citizen, representing no formal organization.


According to a news article published in the November 2 issue of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh School Superintendent Mark Roosevelt rejected the proposal, promoted by the Children’s Museum, to move the Rogers CAPA Middle School into the original Allegheny Regional Branch of Carnegie Library, due to the high cost of renovating the Library building. According to the article, Mr. Roosevelt said that the cost of renovating the library "would be two or three times, maybe four or five times the cost of Milliones" (school in the Hill District).


There you have it! Insurance will pay to have the building restored as a library. But, the cost of renovating the Allegheny Regional Library into some other use is beyond the capability of the School District—and they have the ability to float bonds for the project! How could any other non-profit, or for-profit enterprise, afford to reuse the Allegheny Regional Library if the School District considers it unaffordable?


If you continue to allow Carnegie Library to abandon the Allegheny Regional Library, it will be Buhl Planetarium all over again. The Allegheny Regional Library will be empty and unused for years, probably more than a decade. After nearly three years, the historic Hazelwood Branch Library building, with a 250-seat auditorium, remains empty and unused with no prospects for future use.


The property on Federal Street, proposed for the new North Side library, could easily be used for commercial or residential purposes. The Allegheny Regional Library cannot easily be used for other purposes!


If you truly want to improve the North Side, the answer is simple. Use the Federal Street property for a commercial use and use the Allegheny Regional Library as a library, as Andrew Carnegie intended.


The City owns both properties and several of you sit on the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees. You can still stop this madness that will result in an empty library building, in the center of Allegheny Center, for many years to come. The question is will you stop this madness?