For immediate release: 2004 February 3

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

Daytime: E-Mail < >

Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876


                        PUBLIC HEARING WEDNESDAY



Pittsburgh, Feb. 3 – The Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh will hold its primary public hearing, on the nomination of five library branches to become historic landmarks, on Wednesday at 4:40 p.m. This second of three public hearings, before the Historic Review Commission, will be held in the first floor Hearing Room of the John P. Robin Civic Building (200 Ross Street, at Second Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh).


The subject of this hearing is the nomination of five original Andrew Carnegie-built library branches, of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which have been nominated to be City Designated Historic Structures, by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. The library branches nominated include the branches in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Hazelwood (opened 1900 August 15), Homewood (opened 1911 March 10), Lawrenceville (opened 1898 May 10), Mount Washington (opened 1900 May 31), and West End (opened 1899 January 31).


The entire historic designation process will take several months.  The historic nomination must be reviewed by the Historic Review Commission [including three public hearings] and the Planning Commission [one public hearing], both City agencies. At the end of the process, Pittsburgh City Council must approve designation, after reviewing the recommendations of the two commissions and the testimony from a City Council public hearing. If either commission gives a negative recommendation to the nomination, approval by City Council must be by a “supermajority” of votes.


Designation as City Designated Historic Structures would mean that these five libraries cannot be demolished, or their exteriors altered, without approval of the Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh. Such designation does not protect the interior of the building, or furnishings, equipment, or artifacts in the building.


Nor does designation require that the owner or lessee continue operations in the building. All five library buildings are owned by the City of Pittsburgh and leased by The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


Although the Homewood Branch Library recently received a $3.5 million rehabilitation (from a bond-issue supported by the Allegheny Regional Asset District), Carnegie Library has proposed abandoning the Hazelwood Branch Library building, in opposition to the wishes of the majority of Hazelwood residents, by moving the Hazelwood Branch to a smaller second-floor rental unit three blocks away. Rumors persist that Carnegie Library would also like to abandon the Lawrenceville, Mount Washington, West End, and Allegheny Regional Branch (already a City Designated Historic Structure) library buildings, by moving those branch libraries to alternate sites.


A Preliminary Determination Hearing on the nomination occurred on January 7. Five area residents testified, at that time, before the Historic Review Commission, all in favor of the nomination. Two Carnegie Library staff members attended the hearing, but did not speak.


Any citizen can attend and testify at any or all of the public hearings regarding this historic nomination. Prior registration to speak is not necessary for the February 4 hearing.





Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh
Meeting Agenda: 2004 February 4:

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(Scroll-down agenda to 4:40 p.m., for Hearing on Carnegie Libraries)

2004 January 7
Statement of Glenn A. Walsh
Before the Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh

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Regarding the Nomination of the Hazelwood, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington, and West End Branches, of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, to be City Designated Historic Structures.



Note to Editors and Reporters: Publication of these
photographs is hereby granted, with credit to
Hazelwood has one of the original Carnegie
Libraries. Photo of Library Front:
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It opened to the public on 1900 August 15. This
building has a beautiful stained-glass dome over the
original mahogany circulation desk--Photo of Dome:
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It also has an auditorium on the lower level which
seats about 250--Photo of Auditorium:
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You can see a few more pictures of this historic
library at:
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Glenn A. Walsh served as a Life Trustee, on the Board
of Trustees, of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and
Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania from 1995-2000,
including the position of Library Treasurer from
1995-1996. The Andrew Carnegie Free Library has no
direct affiliation with The Carnegie Library of
Pittsburgh. Views expressed by Mr. Walsh are his own
and do not represent the views of the Andrew Carnegie
Free Library or the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.
Glenn A. Walsh
  Electronic Mail - < >
  Internet, World Wide Web Sites -
  History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh:
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  History of The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Chicago:
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  History of Astronomer and Optician John A. Brashear:
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  History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries:
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  The Duquesne Incline, historic cable car railway, Pittsburgh:
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