Public Hearing Before               Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council:              P.O. Box 1041

City Designated Historic        Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

   Structure Status For           Telephone: 412-561-7876

Andrew Carnegie-Built          Electronic Mail: < >

Lawrenceville Branch Library Internet Web Site: < >

                                                             2004 June 30


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


From 1995-2000, I served as a Life Trustee, on the Board of Trustees, of one of Andrew Carnegie’s original libraries: the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, which opened in 1901. I served as the Library’s Treasurer from 1995-1996. I was the Consulting Editor for the April, 1999 issue of Cobblestone, a national history magazine for children; the theme of this issue was the life and philanthropies of Andrew Carnegie. And, I maintain an educational web site, on the Internet, on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries: < >.


The Lawrenceville Branch Library, a well-known and loved landmark in the Lawrenceville neighborhood next-door to the Stephen Foster Community Center, was the very first neighborhood branch library, in the country, built by Andrew Carnegie. Andrew Carnegie felt that neighborhood branch libraries were as important, if not more important, than a city’s main library. The Lawrenceville Branch Library served as the prototype for more than one hundred neighborhood branch libraries constructed, nationwide!


The Lawrenceville Library design included two major innovations:


1) The first specifically-designed and constructed library Children’s Room!

2)  The first library in which the book stacks and the new central circulation desk were specifically deigned to allow the public direct access to the books!


For many years, three Carnegie Library branches have been recognized and protected by Historic Review Commission designation: the Main Branch in Oakland, Allegheny Regional Branch on the North Side, and the South Side Branch Library. With the historic designation of all five library buildings being considered today, all original, Andrew Carnegie-built library buildings, which have been used as libraries in Pittsburgh this year, will be protected by the Pittsburgh Historic Review Ordinance.


This is important, because it is the system of neighborhood library branches throughout the City, originally envisioned by Andrew Carnegie, which is of major historical significance. When first conceived in 1890, this was the largest neighborhood branch library system proposed for any American city!


I strongly recommend that Pittsburgh City Council approve Bill No. 283, conferring the status of City Designated Historic Structure on the Lawrenceville Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


Thank you.