For immediate release: 2004 March 1

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

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Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876




Pittsburgh, March 1 – The Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh is scheduled to make a recommendation, on five library buildings nominated to be City Designated Historic Structures, on Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. This decision will be made, following a third public hearing on the issue, 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 and Historic Review Commission recommendation 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).


Although the third public hearing is required by State law, the primary public hearing on this issue was held before the Historic Review Commission on February 4. The third public hearing is an additional opportunity for the public to present evidence, or comments, to the Commission, for those who could not attend the February 4 hearing.


Following the Historic Review Commission’s recommendation, a fourth public hearing on the issue will be held before the Pittsburgh Planning Commission on Tuesday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m., in the first floor Hearing Room of the John P. Robin Civic Building (200 Ross Street, at Second Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh). The Planning Commission shall consider effects of designation on adjoining properties and surrounding neighborhoods within the framework of established planning, development and land use objectives for the City of Pittsburgh.


Recommendations from both the Historic Review Commission and the Planning Commission will be transmitted to Pittsburgh City Council. 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 six 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.


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 March 3 hearing.





Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh
Meeting Agenda: 2004 March 3:

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(Scroll-down agenda to 3:20 p.m., for Hearing on Carnegie Libraries)

            Statement of Glenn A. Walsh

Before the Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh

                        2004 February 4:

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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:

History of The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Chicago:

History of Astronomer and Optician John A. Brashear:

History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries:

The Duquesne Incline, historic cable car railway, Pittsburgh: