National Preservation

National Preservation Glenn A. Walsh

Conference 2006, P.O. Box 1041

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

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Carnegie Libraries: Electronic Mail: < >

Challenges and Internet Web Site: < >

Solutions 2006 November 3


Introduction of Glenn Walsh by Moderator Joanne Weeter
(Brief Biography of Panelist)

A 1978 Journalism graduate from the University of Kentucky, Mr. Walsh is a free-lance writer and web page designer living in Pittsburgh and serves as Project Director of a new non-profit organization, Friends of the Zeiss, which promotes the preservation and functionality of historic equipment and artifacts from Pittsburgh’s original Buhl Planetarium. He has nearly 20 years of professional experience in the planetarium, museum, and public library fields, most of them with Carnegie Museums and Carnegie Libraries in the Pittsburgh region.

He served five years in the late 1990s as a Life Trustee for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie Borough, 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, Mr. Walsh was the Consulting Editor of the Cobblestone national history magazine for children, for the April, 1999 issue dedicated to the life and philanthropies of Andrew Carnegie, and he maintains a web site on that history at < >.

Mr. Walsh will be speaking on politics and grass-roots preservation efforts.


Outline of Presentation *** Photographs Used in Presentation (Photos of Andrew Carnegie Free Library used only)


Primary Impediments to Historic Preservation: EGO and MONEY !


I. Ego


A. Institution Administrators and/or Board members

1. Looking to leave a legacy—change for changes sake.

B. Politicians

1. Change—any change—to show constituents they are “improving” community.


II. Money


A. Real Estate Developers/Speculators

1. Promote new or renovated structure, which they think will increase community property values, often with contributions to political campaigns.

B. Consultants, Architects, Contractors

1. Promote building changes while seeking public contracts, often with contributions to political campaigns.

C. Politicians & So-called “Economic Development” (Subsidized Real Estate Speculation)

1. Politicians risk public funds to try to buy additional real estate development; any short-term gains come at a fairly high price, both monetarily and through loss of history, and often do not translate into long-term gains.

a. Federal “Urban Renewal” projects of the 1960s and 1970s [and later, UDAG (Urban Development Action Grants)]– many now being undone.

` b. State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grants.

c. Local TIF (Tax Increment Financing) packages, deferring municipal, county, and school district property taxes to assist project construction.

2. So-called “Economic Development” (Subsidized Real Estate Speculation) given high priority, even if results in economic “musical chairs” and historic properties are abandoned or demolished.

III. Case Studies: Original Carnegie Libraries


A. Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Carnegie PA *** Photographs

1. Origin & Endowment.

2. RAD Funding & Lawsuit Against Library by Borough; Near Loss of RAD & State Funding.

3. Chartiers Valley Partnership & Amending Trust Agreement.

4. Already, some historic interior “modernized” and fate of historic fixtures unknown.

5. ACLA & Discarding of Nearly Half of Collection.