Statement before                    Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council --          P.O. Box 1041

   Historic Hazelwood                      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

     Library Building:                         Telephone: 412-561-7876

Another Abandoned               Electronic Mail: < >

Neighborhood Building?              Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2003 October 7


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. Today, I am representing no formal organization.


The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has proposed to move the Hazelwood Branch Library three blocks, to the second floor of a new building on Second Avenue. They would “mothball” the original Library building for one year—until ownership reverts back to the City of Pittsburgh.


The Carnegie did the same thing with the Buhl Planetarium building in 1994. The building was abandoned and “mothballed” until it was turned-back to the City at the end of 1996. Look how long the Buhl Planetarium building has been empty! Does the City want to be responsible for another empty Carnegie building? It could remain empty and boarded-up for years!


This is exactly what happened in Camden, New Jersey. The Library was moved out of the original Carnegie Library building many years ago. The original Carnegie Library building has been empty and boarded-up for more than a decade!


Beatrice M. Caraballo, an author and historian, is part of a private group now trying to rehabilitate the historic Camden library building. In a letter she sent to me, for public distribution, she says:


“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…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.”


On the reverse side of this statement is her letter in its entirety.


I saw vegetation growing out of the roof of the Camden library building, myself, in July of 1998. It is in a very similar dilapidated condition as is the Pennsylvania Railroad Station building in Wilkinsburg, next to the East Busway. This could happen to the Hazelwood Library building if Carnegie Library is permitted to abandon the building.


The historic Hazelwood Branch Library building is owned by the City of Pittsburgh and several of you sit on the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees. I ask that you insist that Carnegie Library abide by the wishes of the majority of Hazelwood residents and stop the proposed move of the Hazelwood Library, out of the historic building that has successfully hosted the library for more than 103 years.


Thank you.