"BEATRICE CARABALLO" <> | This is spam | Add to Address Book


"Glenn Walsh" <>


I hope this helps your cause - Good Luck!!!


Wed, 24 Sep 2003 23:30:08 -0400


Beatrice M. Caraballo

Author & Historian

                                                          624 Grant Avenue

                                                          Collingswood, New Jersey 08107-2302




Dear Community & City Officials of Pittsburgh,

My name is Beatrice M. Caraballo. I am an Author & Historian of the City of Camden, New Jersey. I would like to share the following history for the benefit of your efforts.


Andrew Carnegie did not have a formal education, but as a youth working in Pennsylvania he developed a life long interest in books and education. During his lifetime, he gave more than three hundred fifty million dollars to various educational, cultural, and peace institutions, many of which bear his name. His first public gift was in 1873 for baths in the town of his birth, his largest single gift was in 1911 for one hundred twenty five million dollars to establish the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


The flowering of public libraries across the United States during the late 19th century was greatly due to the generosity of Andrew Carnegie He donated millions of dollars to English speaking countries worldwide for the construction of library buildings. Carnegie had two main reasons for donating money to the founding of libraries. Carnegie libraries are in a very real sense a form of democratic equality. the number of public libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, grew from one hundred eighty eight in 1876 to three thousand eight hundred seventy three libraries by 1923.


On January 2, 1903 in the City of Camden, New Jersey, Dr. Dowling Benjamin, the city’s foremost bacteriologist and author of a novel, convinced philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to donate one hundred thousand twenty dollars toward the construction of three libraries within city boundaries: Carnegie Library on Broadway & Line Street; East Camden Branch, which burn down in the 1960s, and the Cooper Public Library Branch known commonly as The Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center. Carnegie required only that the Camden Administration appropriate ten thousand dollars annually for upkeep of each educational facility. Sixth Ward Councilman Charles H. Ellis wrote a resolution to this effect and it was accepted by council in February 1903. The city purchased the property of John H. Dialogue’s on Broadway at the corner of Line Street for fifteen thousand dollars.


I recently spoke to Councilwoman Dana L. Redd and asked about her recollection of the Carnegie Library on Broadway. She reminiscences, “I remember my mother took me to get my first library card there and I use to spend hours reading books. So many people went there for research and school projects. I remember that building was beautiful.” She remembered the beautiful staircases on both sides of the interior of the building. She prays that someone will invest their money into redeveloping this gorgeous structure.


The Carnegie Library has been vacant for many years after the library was removed from the building. The structure has endured the torment of violent weather and constant neglect. The roof of the building has collapsed and homeless vagrants find this to be their nightly rest. The moving of the library from this building affected the community in a negative manner. The entire city only has one library with outdated books that have missing covers or pages and computers that are obsolete. The moving of this library has left our students without a proper and adequate educational institution. This community has lost its very valuable library as well as a beautiful historic landmark. Although this building is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990, this did not stop them from removing the library.


A newly formed group which has put their focus on preservation efforts for the Carnegie Library, called “Friends of Carnegie”. This group is in its organizational and funding phase, but dedicated to their goal. The City Redevelopment Agency has recently approved a twenty five year revitalization plan which will proceed down Broadway and include the Carnegie Library.


I wish the City of Pittsburgh and its residents all the luck in their efforts to save their library. I beg the officials to please venture all outlets before you make a drastic choice you will not be able to mend. A library supplies a community with endless knowledge and a sense of pride. They educate the public and generate empowerment through sharing equality in the community. We must continue to strive for preservation and restoration of our historic treasure to secure place in the future.




Beatrice M. Caraballo