For release: 2004 June 22

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Pittsburgh, June 22 – Pittsburgh City Council will hear from the public, regarding the historic value of five Carnegie Library buildings, on Wednesday afternoon, June 30, beginning at 1:30 p.m. In July, City Council will decide whether these five libraries meet the qualifications to be considered City Designated Historic Structures.


The subject of the five public hearings 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 City Planning Commission and Historic Review Commission, which held their own public hearings on the nominations, have both submitted unanimous recommendations in favor of City Council approving the historic designations for all five libraries.


The following is the schedule for the five public hearings, before City Council, on Wednesday, June 30:


1:30 p.m. – Bill No. 282 – Nomination of Homewood Branch Library

1:45 p.m. – Bill No. 283 – Nomination of Lawrenceville Branch Library

2:00 p.m. – Bill No. 284 – Nomination of Mt. Washington Branch Library

2:15 p.m. – Bill No. 285 – Nomination of West End Branch Library

2:30 p.m. -- Bill No. 286 – Nomination of Hazelwood Branch Library


All public hearings will take place in the City Council Chamber, on the fifth floor of the City-County Building, located at the corner of Grant Street and Forbes Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. Any citizen is welcome to testify at any or all of these five public hearings. However, pre-registration is necessary to speak at each public hearing; citizens may pre-register by telephoning the City Clerk’s office at 412-255-2138.


All verbal statements by members of the public will be limited to no more than three minutes for each of the five public hearings. Additional printed testimony, of any length, may be submitted at the time of the verbal testimony.


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. The Main Branch in Oakland, Allegheny Regional Branch on the North Side, and the South Side Branch, of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, are already protected by the Historic Review Commission.


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.


News Release: City Council Public Hearings on Nominations of Historic Libraries
                                                                            2004 June 22                        Page 2 of 2




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), in March Carnegie Library abandoned 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 five public hearings. The public can obtain more information regarding the public hearings or the historic nominations by electronic mail:

< > or by telephone: 412-561-7876.




Note to Editors and Reporters: 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.

gaw  2004 June 21
Glenn A. Walsh
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