633 Royce Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15243-1149 Telephone: (412) 561-7876 Telefacsimile: (412) 276-9472 Electronic Mail: December 28, 1997 Mr. Bob Pastin, Editor Letters to the Editor The Signal-Item 10 East Mall Plaza Carnegie, Pennsylvania 15106 Dear Mr. Pastin: The article, "Proposal made to build parking lots at library," published in the December 24 issue of The Signal-Item, gives the mistaken impression that there is no opposition to this plan. As a Life Trustee of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, I oppose any plan which turns the Library's scenic property into a giant parking lot. I made my opposition quite clear, to the plan's proposers, at the November 17 Library Board meeting. I oppose this plan for three main reasons: 1) A plaque in the Library Foyer clearly states: "THIS BUILDING AND PARK(emphasis added) GIVEN AND DEDICATED BY ANDREW CARNEGIE TO THE CITIZENS OF THIS BOROUGH ANNO DOMINI 1899." When purchasing property for the Library, Andrew Carnegie could have saved money by buying only enough property for the construction of the Library building. He chose to purchase more land for a small in-town park, as an additional benefit to the citizens of Carnegie. He certainly did not expect his gift to become a commercial extension of the business district. 2) On first glance, the hilly terrain of the Library Park makes it seem unusable. Funny thing is that children do not understand that. Neighborhood children use the Library Park alot. This includes sled riding in the winter months. Adults also use the Library Park for quiet strolls or for walking dogs. In conjunction with the Library's Civil War Museum, Civil War encampments have been recreated in the Library Park, by the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves reenactment group. Andrew Carnegie would be quite proud of how Borough residents have embraced and used his many gifts, including the Library Park. Once the Main Street Mall is reopened to traffic, the Library Park will be the only large recreational area, in the center of Carnegie! 3) Next time you pass the intersection of Broadway and Beechwood Avenues, look up at the Library. The stately edifice, with near century-old trees in the foreground, makes this one of the most scenic views in the western part of Allegheny County--a grand entrance to this Borough's palace of literature and culture! Now, imagine this entire hillside as a parking lot! Asphalt replacing trees and grass. Another one of the things that makes Carnegie special would be lost forever! Mr. Bob Pastin, Editor: Letters to the Editor December 28, 1997 Page 2 of 2 Mr. Gordon Giffin, who has proposed this parking plan, is a generous donor to the Library. I wish him well in his proposed venture to restore the historic Plaza Building. However, I do not believe he should expect the use of the Library Park, to solve his parking problem. The proposed parking garage, which would be constructed on an existing parking lot in front of the Carnegie Post Office, would be a more reasonable solution. Sincerely yours, Glenn A. Walsh gaw