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Pippy commemorates library's 100th year

In July 1998, steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie provided a grant of $200,000 for the erection of a public library in the borough of Carnegie.

Last Tuesday, Rep. John Pippy (R-44) presented the Life Trustees at the library a citation on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives commemorating the library and its contributions to the community for the past 100 years.

"Public libraries are essential to a cultured and civilized society," said Pippy. "In no other place can any one individual find such a wealth of information and have the ability to study historical events, broaden their horizons and experience the escapades of great men and fictional characters. It is through these resources that we are challenged to dream the impossible."

In a letter to William Hill, the first library board president and George Hosack, board secretary, dated April 26, 1898, Andrew Carnegie wrote, " I will spend $200,000 upon a fireproof building for a public library and a high school, also $10,000 to furnish the first supply of books."

This letter was the culmination of more than five years of efforts by Carnegie residents to secure the donation of a library from Andrew Carnegie and was in response to a March 31, 1898, letter from Hill and Hosack asking Carnegie to consider the donation of a high school to the town.

Although Carnegie consented to the use of grant money for the construction of a high school he suggested that it might be more valuable to use part of the grant for construction of a "public hall," as was constructed with libraries he funded for Braddock, Homestead and Pittsburgh.

An 800-seat music hall, patterned after Carnegie Hall in New York City, was built adjacent to the library instead of a high school.

Copied transcripts of the original letters are on display at the library. They can also be viewed at

The contents of Gateway Hometown Plus is copyright Gateway Publications 1998.
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