Carnegie branch libraries

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Carnegie branch libraries

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1scottja
Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 2007, 3:42pm

So, there are about 20 branches of the Carnegie library, and another 40 or so Allegheny county libraries. I've been to about a dozen of these, and a few really stand out. For example, The Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie and the Allegheny Regional branch, for their history and decrepitude, and the C. C. Mellor Memorial Library in Edgewood for the feeling of being in someone's house, but with everything stripped away except the bare essentials (i.e., the bookshelves).

Does anyone else have any favorites / hidden gems? (Either for the ambiance or the collection.) After all, yinz guys like books n'at, right? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

2beckyleeprice
huhtikuu 19, 2007, 12:49pm

I like the Wilkinsburg branch because the folks who work there are really nice and you can always find a place to park. I order my books online and always have them sent there. They have even been known to let me in when they're closed to pick up my books.

3lssian
kesäkuu 7, 2007, 10:53am

I really like the main one the most. I know, boring, but it's an old building which is cool, and it's very big. I like the floor where it's like you're walking on frosted glass windows.

4plumdream
huhtikuu 15, 2008, 4:21pm

I agree with Issian about the main branch. I live on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, so don't get to the main branch nearly as often as I'd like to, but I truly love it there. From the new and welcoming reading areas near the main checkout, the art department, to the upstairs quiet area with the big wooden tables, and the frosted glass floor in the back shelves, its a real treat.

5ladydzura
huhtikuu 15, 2008, 5:15pm

I'm not much different from everyone else, I love the main branch. I went to Pitt, and I hardly ever used Hillman -- it just doesn't have the character that the Carnegie does. One of my very favorite things to do when I'm there is sit in one of the bay windows in the stacks and read.

That's not to say that I don't like my local library, though -- everyone's super friendly there, and it's a little more personable, I think, probably because it's not as large and has a smaller staff.

6basher
tammikuu 15, 2010, 6:17pm

I live in Braddock and the Carnegie library there is the first Carnegie library in the US. The whole building is just teeming with personality.

7mckait
kesäkuu 1, 2011, 6:03pm

I have never been in any of the Carnegie Libraries.. I do however borrow from their digital books for my nook. I love north of Pgh, in Beaver county

8pitjrw
kesäkuu 8, 2011, 2:45pm

I just moved to the section of Regent Square in Wilkinsburg. Where is the library?

9jumpysicilian
tammikuu 29, 2012, 1:52pm

For my money, and the fact that the first Carnegie libraries were located here, it is worth a trip to explore and see ALL of the originals...
Of the originals, both chartered and gifted, these include(d): Allegheny City (N. Side), Braddock, Homestead, Duquesne, and Carnegie.

The library on the North Side (the 1st chartered library) is now closed (due to a lightening strike!), but a portion of the building lives on as the New Hazlett Theater. The Duquesne library was torn down (?!) several years ago, as considered too costly to maintain.

Three of the original gems, however, still shine very brightly.

The Carnegie Free Library of Braddock has evolved and no longer has a bath house in the basement, but a ceramics studio. Good indy rock shows and symphony ensembles are being put on in the auditorium and the French & Indian War Museum is an amazing place to find out about Braddock's defeat nearby.

Carnegie Library of Homestead stands like a beautiful lady high on it's hill. It is renowned as possibly the best surviving example of what Carnegie intended his libraries to be. The gym and pool still operate and offer reasonable rates of membership. (As an interesting piece of trivia - 4 women trained in the pool there and 2 went on to win Olympic medals in the '28, '32, and '36 games). There are still bowling lanes in the basement as well. This venue has been the most successful at booking music gigs of prominent and well-known intl. acts. A new mural of the night sky by Ian Green was recently painted on the ceiling of the reading room.

Carnegie Free Library is another of the majestic beauties still packing them in. A gift to the people of the town who renamed themselves for him, this library, like Homestead, has a beautiful music hall that is home to several musical productions a year. The interior is very impressive and high ceilings mean lots of tall windows for an airy and reflective space. This library boasts the 1st suburban library in the world to have a children's reading room (Lawrenceville being the 1st EVER children's room in a library). Instead of a pool, they got a gym, which is still used as a dance space. Don't forget to visit the Capt. Thomas Espy Civil War Room. One of just a handful of GAR posts left - war veterans met here until the 1930's and it is like a time-capsule, and an educational boon for all Civil War enthusiasts...

All of these are worth a visit for the fact that they physically represent the first examples of a cultural shift and a movement towards self-knowledge and the importance of education and learning in America.

In addition to these, I would add these other Carnegie library locations:
Homewood library - recently renovated to it's original splendor, with warm wood and windows creating a wonderful, communal library space.
C.C. Mellor library in Edgewood - I agree with the above poster, that it is like being in someone's home library space! of course -
Main in Oakland, with it's many glass-floored stacks, the calm, outdoor bamboo-lined interior courtyard, and the ability to spy on the dinosaurs and museum goers from the stacks is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Mt. Washington - coming out of this library on Grandview Ave. is like coming out of the Ft. Pitt Tunnel: all of a sudden, *BAM* THERE'S THE CITY!
Penn Hills - a wonderful, new 'green' library building. A great space, impressive audio/visual lending collection
Bayne Memorial Library in Bellevue - another example of a library that seems like it's in someone's house - because it is!
one of my favorites - Sq. Hill. this is always bustling with activity. I like grabbing a seat and reading my book or magazine in the big, open, front space overlooking the Forbes/Murray intersection.

Hope that helped a little? Cheers...

Marc V.

10tamita
toukokuu 16, 2016, 5:31pm

Growing up in the 50's I frequented the Larimer Ave. Branch of the Carnegie library system in East Liberty; don't know if it's still in existence. I remember the tall windows and the hum of fans in the summer months in the days when air conditioning wasn't common. No pools or gyms but lots of books. But my favorite was making a trip to the main branch in Oakland with the museum next door. Those libraries created in me a life long love of reading and of books; which led to a 25 year career working in libraries. I've long since moved away from Pittsbugh but those memories remain.