Photograph Album -
Carnegie Libraries of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

The following are photographs of some of the original Carnegie Libraries in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, located outside of the city limits of Pittsburgh -

Special Note: This project, to photograph original Carnegie Libraries in Western Pennsylvania, has just begun. More photographs will be added to this page, when they are ready.

Andrew Carnegie Free Library, Carnegie, Pa.

Andrew Carnegie Free Library Photo Album

Braddock Carnegie Library, Braddock, Pa.

The Carnegie Free Library of Braddock, Pennsylvania was the first Carnegie Library built in the United States, in 1889, second in the world(after a Carnegie Library was built in Andrew Carnegie's home town of Dunfermline, Scotland in 1881). Braddock was also home to Andrew Carnegie's first major steel mill, the Edgar Thomson Works. Andrew Carnegie felt an obligation to provide his employees, and their families, a library, music hall, gymnasium, and swimming pool; hence, he also arranged an endowment to operate this library. Both the Library and the Edgar Thomson Works(now part of the Mon Valley Works of the U.S. Steel Group, USX Corporation) are still active today.

The first three photographs show the Library entrance. Photographs 4 and 5 show the Music Hall entrance. Photograph 6 is an aerial view of the Borough of Braddock, showing the Edgar Thomson Works immediately behind the Braddock Locks(on the Monongahela River).

Photo 1 (1)***Photo 2 (1)***Photo 3 (1)***Photo 4 (1)***Photo 5 (1)***Photo 6 (1)

Tierney, Jacob. "4 libraries in Westmoreland, Allegheny counties will split $2.3 million in state grants." Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh 2020 Nov. 13. First retrieved 2020 Nov. 14.
The Carnegie Free Library of Braddock, Pennsylvania, America's first Carnegie Library, will receive a $750,000 state grant toward a planned $15 million renovation plan to restore the 130-year-old building.

O'Driscoll, Bill. "Braddock Carnegie Library Cites Community Ties As It Launches Big Capital Campaign."
WESA-FM 90.5, Pittsburgh 2020 March 19. First retrieved 2020 March 19.

Schackner, Bill. "From its sweeping stairways to a grand music hall, hundreds tour original U.S. Carnegie Library."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2019 March 30.

O'Driscoll, Bill. "Braddock Carnegie Library Turns 130 With Party, Planned Improvements."
WESA-FM 90.5, Pittsburgh 2019 March 29.

Giammarise, Kate. "Braddock Carnegie Library to unveil renovation plan."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2019 March 28.

Walser, Lauren. "Wander the Bookstacks at These Carnegie Libraries."
National Trust for Historic Preservation 2018 March 12.

Walser, Lauren. "Public Libraries Across the Country Are Ready For Their Next Chapter."
Preservation Magazine Winter 2018.
Includes the historic Carnegie Free Library of Braddock PA, America's first Carnegie Library.

Deto, Ryan. "Residents urge Port Authority to maintain service for bus routes in Mon Valley."
Pittsburgh City Paper 2017 Dec. 26.
Last week, about 100 residents met at the Braddock Carnegie Library in Braddock to sign postcards asking the Port Authority of Allegheny County to consider their public-transit needs when considering changes that will likely come with the proposed implementation of a Pittsburgh Bus Rapid Transit system.

O'Driscoll, Bill. "Braddock Library to be Declared National Historic Landmark Tomorrow." Blog Post: Blogh.
Pittsburgh City Paper 2013 April 19.

The Carnegie Free Library of Braddock which opened in 1889 in the first town to host an Andrew Carnegie steel mill, the Edgar Thomson Works in the Pittsburgh suburb of Braddock, was the first Carnegie Library in America.

Pitz, Marylynne. "New museum charts Braddock's defeat."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2012 Aug. 18.
Initially, Mr. Messner established a temporary museum on the second floor of the Carnegie Library in Braddock.

Sciullo, Maria. "Possible U.S. funding cut could affect WQED programming."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2011 March 25.

"Ms. Ford Williams also spoke about WQED's educational endeavor, "iQ Zoo." It's an interactive program that would allow kids or their parents to scan a barcode-like symbol at various stations at the Pittsburgh Zoo, which would call up information and features about the animals.
"I think we'll be doing some beta testing in the summer, to make sure kids 'get' it," she said. "Then we'll probably launch it later in the summer."
"Similar interactive programs have already launched involving the Children's Museum and the Carnegie library in Braddock."

Nelson Jones, Diana. "We Are All Chili Eaters."Blog: City Walkabout.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2011 March 22.
Regarding a fundraiser to benefit the Carnegie Free Library of Braddock, America's first Carnegie Library.

O'Neill, Brian. "Readers would do well to book this tour." Column.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2010 Sept. 2.

"...a reader called to alert me to Bookstore Tourism...
"and this month there will be a Gilligan-like three-hour tour of independent stores here in Pittsburgh...
"That's all because Karen Lillis, a book-lover who moved here five years ago from New York, doesn't want to see our cultural landscape slide. She's also organizing a library tour -- including the old Allegheny Library, the Braddock Carnegie and the Lawrenceville branch of the Carnegie -- on Sunday, Sept. 12."

Calabro, Tina. "Braddock library tackles theater for disabled."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2008 March 20.
America's first Carnegie Library.

Ferguson Tinsley, M. "Libraries still haven't taken advice to merge."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2006 Nov. 16.
Two original Carnegie Free Libraries in Braddock and Swissvale,
and original Andrew Carnegie-funded C.C. Mellor Memorial Library in Edgewood,
continue pondering recommended merger, due to financial problems of all three libraries.

Potter, Chris. "I grew up near U.S. Steelís Edgar Thomson plant. Who was Edgar Thomson?" Column.
Pittsburgh City Paper 2005 May 26.
Question submitted by: Sue Kerr, West Mifflin.

Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, Allegheny, Pa.

Constructed in 1890 as an independent Carnegie Free Library for the City of Allegheny, this library became the Allegheny Regional Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in 1956(even though the City of Pittsburgh annexed Allegheny City in 1907).
Allegheny Regional Branch Photo Album

NEW Allegheny Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh located three blocks north of historic library building.

Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale, Swissvale, Pa.

The Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale opened to the public in 1918. Hence, it was one of the last public library buildings constructed by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Carnegie Corporation ended the granting of funds, for library building construction, in 1917; Andrew Carnegie died in 1919.

Photo 1 (1)***Photo 2 (1)***Photo 3 (1)

Martin, Jean. "Raves: Snow paralyzed everything except Swissvale Library." Column: Raves Essay.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2011 Feb. 11.
"They are a dedicated bunch at the Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale, doing a lot on a very small budget."

Todd, Deborah M. "Swissvale library may be facing funding cuts."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2010 June 24.
Regarding the Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale, Pennsylvania.

Ferguson Tinsley, M. "Libraries still haven't taken advice to merge."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2006 Nov. 16.
Two original Carnegie Free Libraries in Braddock and Swissvale,
and original Andrew Carnegie-funded C.C. Mellor Memorial Library in Edgewood,
continue pondering recommended merger, due to financial problems of all three libraries.

Carnegie Library of Homestead, Munhall, Pa.

Dedicated by Andrew Carnegie on November 5, 1898(exactly three years after the dedication of the Main Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and of Carnegie Institute, in Pittsburgh's Oakland section), the Carnegie Library of Homestead is located on a hill overlooking the former Homestead Works of the Carnegie Steel Company(and, later, U.S. Steel Corporation). The library property, which was orignally just outside of the Borough of Homestead, is now in the Borough of Munhall, a couple blocks away from the Homestead boundary; Munhall was formed as a new borough in 1901.

Photographs 1 and 2 show the Library entrance to the Carnegie Library of Homestead. Photograph 3 shows the whole building, from Kennedy Park. Photograph 4 shows the Music Hall entrance. Photograph 5 shows the entrance to the Athletic Club, which includes a gymnasium and a swimming pool(until recently, only members of one sex could swim at any one time, as there was only one locker room for the swimming pool; a second locker room has now been provided).

Photographs 6, 7, and 8 feature actor Allen Nesvisky portraying Andrew Carnegie, during the Centennial celebration of the Carnegie Library of Homestead; Mr. Nesvisky is affiliated with the John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, operated by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Photograph 6 shows Andrew Carnegie arriving at the Homestead railroad station, as he did one hundred years earlier. Photograph 7 shows the carriage, with Andrew Carnegie, proceeding from the railroad station to the Library; the parade went through the Homestead business district. Photograph 8 shows Andrew Carnegie unveiling the Centennial Rededication Plaque at the Library entrance; the present Library Board President(man in top hat) looks on.

There is a miniature replica of the Homestead railroad station on the platform of the popular Miniature Railroad and Village exhibit at The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. The Homestead railroad station, which still exists, is in the borough's business district, close to what-was the main entrance to the Carnegie Steel Company's Homestead Steel Works(which has been razed). This railroad station is situated between, and served, two railroad main lines: the Pennsylvania Railroad(later Penn-Central, ConRail, and now Norfolk-Southern) and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, part of the New York Central System(this main line is now owned by CSX Transportation).

The original planning was for the railroad station building to be transformed into a restaurant. On the morning of 2001 November 13, it was dedicated as the Allegheny County District Attorney's Regional Support and Training Center; see the following link for a news story on this historic reuse:

Carpenter, Mackenzie. "Rebirth in Homestead: the Carnegie Library."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2011 June 1.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh - 2001 November 14:
Police training center at Waterfront dedicated in former Homestead Railroad Station By Karen Zapf

Photographs 9 and 10 show scenes in Kennedy Park, located in front of the Carnegie Library of Homestead. Photograph 9 shows the World War I Memorial; Photograph 10 shows a gazebo.

Photograph 11 shows an historical marker, erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, showing the location on the Monongahela River where Pinkerton Detectives landed at the, then, location of Carnegie Steel's Homestead Works, to attempt to end the Homestead Strike of 1892.

Photo 1 (1)***Photo 2 (1)***Photo 3 (1)***Photo 4 (1)***Photo 5 (1)***Photo 6 (1)

Photo 7 (1)***Photo 8 (1)***Photo 9 (1)***Photo 10 (1)***Photo 11 (1)

Photographs with Number (1): (C) Copyright 1999-2001 Lynne S. Comunale, All Rights Reserved.

Electronic Information
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Carnegie Institute

Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Photo Album Cover Page.

Andrew Carnegie Free Library History Cover Page.

History of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library.

Information about the Andrew Carnegie Free Library.

Return to News Release - March 17, 1999:
Library Legally Established 100 Years Ago by Andrew Carnegie.

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