Friday, November 3, 2006



                       NEWS RELEASE


RELEASE EMBARGOED UNTIL: 2006 November 3, 3:30 p.m. EST

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

                    Daytime: E-Mail < >

                    Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876

                    Internet Web Site: < >


National Preservation Conference:

Ego and Money Primary Impediments to Historic Preservation


Pittsburgh, Nov. 3 – Ego and money are the primary impediments to historic preservation, according to Glenn A. Walsh, a leading historic preservationist in the Pittsburgh area. Mr. Walsh made these comments Friday afternoon as a panelist in the “Carnegie Libraries: Challenges and Solutions” session at the National Preservation Conference being held in Pittsburgh this week. The National Preservation Conference is sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and locally sponsored by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.


According to Mr. Walsh, administrators of historic properties often utilize renovation projects to promote a personal legacy, while citing “modernization” as the justification for the expensive projects. At the same time, real estate developers, consultants, architects, contractors, and politicians often cite “economic development,” or what Mr. Walsh prefers to call “subsidized real estate speculation,” as the justification for the use of tax money for many of these projects. Mr. Walsh asserts that such a combination of interests places the true history of many historic properties at risk, particularly historic interiors, equipment, furnishings, and other artifacts.


Mr. Walsh went on to cite examples of this problem over the last decade, at several Pittsburgh area Carnegie Libraries, including libraries in Hazelwood, North Side, and Carnegie Borough. Several of his examples include his own grass-roots political efforts to preserve Carnegie Libraries.


Educating the public of the true benefits of historic preservation, which he considers to be equivalent to the conservation of community wealth, is one of the solutions called for in his presentation. He also emphasizes the importance of eternal vigilance on the local level and organizing neighborhood residents to protect the true history of their historic properties.


He also states that “modernization” should be restricted to library offerings and programming, which would truly benefit the public. He only supports “brick-and-mortar” projects that are true expansion projects, which have minimal effect on historic facilities.


Mr. Walsh served for five years as a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, including one year as the Library’s Treasurer. A noted authority on the life of Andrew Carnegie and the history of the libraries and museums he founded, he was the Consulting Editor for the April 1999 issue of the national children’s history magazine, Cobblestone, which was dedicated to the life and philanthropies of Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Walsh also maintains an Internet web site on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries: < >.


Mr. Walsh is Project Director of a non-profit organization, Friends of the Zeiss, which promotes the preservation and functionality of historic equipment and artifacts from Pittsburgh’s original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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Note to Editors and Reporters: Mr. Walsh’s presentation will occur at 3:30 p.m. EST on Friday, November 3, 2006, in the Sterlings Suite 2 & 3 in the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel, Commonwealth Drive at Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh.


Outline of Presentation:

< >


Handouts to be Distributed –


Directory of historic Carnegie Library buildings in Allegheny County:


< >

City of Pittsburgh:

< >


Additional Resources:

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gaw  2006-11-1