Monday, September 26, 2016

City Council Approves Legal Transfer of Historic Hazelwood Library to URA

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

On September 20, Pittsburgh City Council approved Bill 2016-0614 that allows the sale, by the City of Pittsburgh to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) for $1 each, several city properties including the historic Hazelwood Library building. The URA would then prepare the Library building, along with other properties included in the bill, for redevelopment and resale.

Bill 2016-0614 was approved by a vote, of the 9-member City Council, of 7 Aye, 2 No, with no abstentions ---

A motion was made that this matter be Passed Finally. The motion carried. by
the following vote:


Aye: 7 - Rev. Burgess, Mr. Gilman, Mr. Kraus, Mr. Lavelle, Mr. O'Connor, Ms.
Rudiak, and Mrs. Kail-Smith
No: 2 - Ms. Gross, and Mrs. Harris
Abstain: 0

Prior to the official vote during the meeting's Public Comments segment, David Tessitor, long-time city activist and Founder of the Pittsburgh Free-Net, and Glenn A. Walsh, former Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, spoke against the proposed sale of the historic Hazelwood Library.

Mr. Tessitor reminded City Council members that in December they approved a now-ongoing study of the conditions and values of 150 city-owned properties and recommend a 40-year repair and maintenance plan. Since several of the city-owned properties that would be sold by Bill 2016-0614 are part of this year-long study, Mr. Tessitor suggested that it would make more sense to delay the proposed sale until the completion of, what is known as, the Massaro Study (the Massaro Corporation is conducting the study for the City).

City Councilwoman Deborah Gross (representing Council District 7) agreed that it made no sense to approve the sale of these properties, until the completion of the Massaro Study can tell City Council the best places to relocate city services and facilities necessary if these properties are to be sold. Consequently, Ms. Gross voted against Bill 2016-0614.

City Councilwoman Darlene M. Harris (representing Council District 1) also voted no on Bill 2016-0614. She mentioned that, just before the beginning of the Tuesday morning Council meeting, the City Law Department had notified her that the historic Hazelwood Library, which was donated in-trust to the City by Andrew Carnegie, could not be sold without the approval of the Pennsylvania Orphans' Court. Hence, she could not approve the sale of the historic Hazelwood Library by Pittsburgh City Council.

The following are the prepared comments of Glenn A. Walsh, delivered before City Council just prior to the final vote on Bill 2016-0614:

Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh
    Council of                      P.O. Box 1041
    The City of                    Pittsburgh PA 15230-1041 U.S.A.
    Pittsburgh:                    Telephone: 412-561-7876
Proposed Sale of                E-Mail: < gaw@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Historic                               Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc  >
Hazelwood Branch Bldg., 
                   Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Carnegie Library               2016 September 20

Good morning, I am Glenn A. Walsh, 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.

I support reuse of the historic Hazelwood Library building, including the large auditorium. However, I oppose Bill 614 which would allow the City of Pittsburgh to sell-off the historic structure.

Last week, City Finance Director Paul Leger said ---
1)     That Bill 614 does not actually sell the properties.
YES IT DOES !!! The bill says, “…conveying AS IS all of the City's right, title and interest, if any, in designated City-owned properties.” If you pass Bill 614, you will convey, and lose control over, the historic Hazelwood Library.

2)     That unless conveyed to the URA, the properties can only be sold at auction.
He did not mention the third option, a long-term lease with a non-profit organization such as the URA or the Hazelwood Initiative, which was done with the historic Buhl Planetarium building in 2002.

The point is that the historic Hazelwood Library should not be sold in the first place. Andrew Carnegie gave this building, including the large auditorium, to the City for a public purpose, and the building should always be owned by the City, so the people of Pittsburgh, through their representatives in Council, will always have a say in what happens to the building.

Redevelopment of the historic Hazelwood Library can occur, as Councilman O’Connor wishes, by a long-term lease under City ownership. However, once this building is conveyed to the URA, neither Councilman O’Connor nor any other member of this Council will have any control over the final disposition of this building. Then the URA Board will make the final decision, not this Council.

I, respectfully, ask that the historic Hazelwood Library be removed from Bill 614, if you feel Bill 614 must be passed.

Thank you.


gaw

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Bill Number 2016-0614, which proposes to sell historic Hazelwood Library building to URA for $1:
Link >>> https://pittsburgh.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2778755&GUID=3E19B1D7-201D-4C90-B125-623971E58534

Hazelwood Library Photo Album:
Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/photoalbumCLP-branches.htm#hazel

Save Hazewood Library: Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/hazelwood/

Related Blog Posts ---

"City Council Preliminarily Approves Sale of Historic Hazelwood Library." 2016 Sept. 15.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/city-council-preliminarily-approves.html

 

"Historic Hazelwood Library Public Hearing." 2016 Sept. 13.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/historic-hazelwood-library-public.html


"Proposed Sale of Historic Hazelwood Library: Public Hearing Thursday."

2016 Sept. 5.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/proposed-sale-of-historic-hazelwood.html

 

"Keep Historic Hazelwood Library as City Property." 2016 Aug. 18.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/08/keep-historic-hazelwood-library-as-city.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Sept. 26.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/astronomical-calendar-2016-january.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

Want to receive LibraryWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
Send request to < librarywatchtower@andrewcarnegie.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, LibraryWatchtower Editor / Author:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Twitter Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* West End Branch, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/cfl.html#westend >
* Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie PA:
http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Thursday, September 15, 2016

City Council Preliminarily Approves Sale of Historic Hazelwood Library

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

Yesterday morning (2016 September 14), Pittsburgh City Council preliminarily approved a bill (Bill 2016-0614) that would allow the sale, by the City of Pittsburgh to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) for $1 each, several city properties including the historic Hazelwood Library building. The URA would then prepare the Library building, along with other properties included in the bill, for redevelopment and resale.

The nearly unanimous vote, which included one abstention, occurred during City Council's weekly meeting of Standing Committees. However, the vote did not occur before there was some heated debate regarding the role the URA should take, as opposed to the role of the City Planning Department, in the processing of these properties.

Speaking at the meeting of City Council's Finance and Law Committee, regarding this issue, were City Finance Director Paul Leger and URA Acting Executive Director Robert Rubinstein. Mr. Leger emphasized that if the City marketed these properties for sale, they would have to take the highest bidder at auction, without any consideration for neighborhood concerns. He said that the URA would provide for a community engagement process before the disposal of the properties.

City Councilwoman Deborah Gross said that the URA's process accelerates development. She believes development of the Strip District and Lawrenceville areas of her district is already too fast, and she wants this slowed-down by a better public participation process. Consequently, she asked that the six properties in her district be removed from Bill 2016-0614 (this does not include the historic Hazelwood Library).

There was much discussion over this request. Several of the other councilmen indicated that the URA public process was the best way to handle these properties. City Councilman Ricky V. Burgess said he would agree to Ms. Gross' request just this once; if and when the properties returned for a vote, he would then vote against her. By a unanimous vote, all six of the properties in Ms. Gross' district were removed from Bill 2016-0614.

Finance and Law Committee Chair Natalia Rudiak, who is Councilwoman for Council District 4 (South Hills), expressed deep concern regarding what would happen to the city functions that had to be displaced by these property sales and how much the displacements would cost.

North Side Councilwoman Darlene Harris, who cast the one abstaining vote on the preliminary final bill, was extremely skeptical regarding the value of the URA public process. She gave examples when people in her district disagreed with URA actions on the North Side.

Councilwoman Harris said that the City Law Department had already confirmed to her that the historic Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, located in Allegheny Center next to the historic Buhl Planetarium, could not be legally sold by the City. As with the historic Hazelwood Library, the historic Allegheny Library was abandoned by Carnegie Library in the last decade, in favor of newer, down-sized library branches. She said that the City Law Department is still conducting research, regarding whether the historic Hazelwood Library can legally be sold by the City.

A final vote on Bill 2016-0614 is expected, by City Council, during their regular weekly meeting on Tuesday Morning, 2016 September 20 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 14:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

During the Public Comment segment at the beginning of the Standing Committees meeting, both city activist David Tessitor, Founder of the Pittsburgh Free-Net, and long-time library advocate Glenn A. Walsh, who served as a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie PA (1995 to 2000), spoke against the proposed sale of the historic Hazelwood Library. The following are the prepared comments of Glenn A. Walsh:

Statement before the      Glenn A. Walsh
    Council of                     P.O. Box 1041
    The City of                    Pittsburgh PA 15230-1041 U.S.A..
    Pittsburgh:                    Telephone: 412-561-7876
Proposed Sale of              E-Mail: < gaw@andrewcarnegie.cc >           
Historic                               Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc  >
Hazelwood Branch Bldg.,
              Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Carnegie Library                2016 September 14

Good morning, I am Glenn A. Walsh, 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.

I support reuse of the historic Hazelwood Library building, including the large auditorium. However, I oppose Bill 614 which would allow the City of Pittsburgh to sell-off the historic structure.

Bill 614 specifically states: “…conveying AS IS all of the City's right, title and interest, if any, in designated City-owned properties to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh ("URA") for consideration of $1.00 each…” Once this conveyance occurs, the City of Pittsburgh, and the people’s duly-elected representatives in this Council, no longer have any control over what happens to the building.

The City should seek reuse of the Hazelwood Library building the same way it sought reuse of the historic Buhl Planetarium building in 2002---by long-term lease. This way, the City retains control of the historic structure for the benefit of city residents.

I would have no problem with the URA, or a community group such as the Hazelwood Initiative, leasing the building from the City and reusing it. However, Andrew Carnegie gave this building to the City for a public purpose, and the building should always be owned by the City, so the people of Pittsburgh will always have a say in what happens to the building.

It is just plain crazy for this Council to give-up continuing control over this building, simply because the Planning Department may not have the resources for a proper public process. If the Planning Commission cannot do this, then contract-out the public process to the URA and keep the building as City property. Do not give-up a valuable piece of City property simply because the URA can do something the Planning Commission cannot do!

Thank you.


gaw

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Bill Number 2016-0614, which proposes to sell historic Hazelwood Library building to URA for $1:
Link >>> https://pittsburgh.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2778755&GUID=3E19B1D7-201D-4C90-B125-623971E58534

Hazelwood Library Photo Album:
Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/photoalbumCLP-branches.htm#hazel

Save Hazewood Library: Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/hazelwood/

Related Blog Posts ---

"Historic Hazelwood Library Public Hearing." 2016 Sept. 13.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/historic-hazelwood-library-public.html


"Proposed Sale of Historic Hazelwood Library: Public Hearing Thursday."

2016 Sept. 5.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/proposed-sale-of-historic-hazelwood.html

 

"Keep Historic Hazelwood Library as City Property." 2016 Aug. 18.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/08/keep-historic-hazelwood-library-as-city.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Sept. 14.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/astronomical-calendar-2016-january.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

Want to receive LibraryWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
Send request to < librarywatchtower@andrewcarnegie.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, LibraryWatchtower Editor / Author:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Twitter Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* West End Branch, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/cfl.html#westend >
* Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie PA:
http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Historic Hazelwood Library Public Hearing

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

A public hearing, regarding the proposal for the City of Pittsburgh to sell the historic Hazelwood Branch of Carnegie Library library building to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for $1 for redevelopment, occurred in the Pittsburgh City Council Chamber last Thursday Afternoon, 2016 September 8 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 18:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

The public hearing was chaired by Bruce Kraus, President of Pittsburgh City Council. Other City Council members in attendance at this public hearing were Darlene Harris, Corey O'Connor, and Theresa Kail-Smith.

Four people registered to speak at this public hearing. The three registered people, who spoke, were all opposed to the legislation (Bill 2016-0614):
  1. Jacqueline Bey
  2. David Tessitor (who had petitioned for this public hearing)
  3. Glenn A. Walsh

Although Yvonne Francine Brown had registered for this hearing to make a comment (not committed to either being in “Favor” or “Opposed”), she did not attend the hearing.

Pittsburgh City Council will discuss this issue, including the results of the public hearing, on Wednesday Morning, 2016 September 14 at 10:00 a.m. EDT / 14:00 UTC.

The following are the comments of Glenn A. Walsh, delivered at this public hearing:

Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh
    Council of                       P.O. Box 1041
    The City of                      Pittsburgh PA 15230-1041 U.S.A.
    Pittsburgh:                      Telephone: 412-561-7876
Proposed Sale of               E-Mail: <gaw@andrewcarnegie.cc> 
Historic                                Web Site: <http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc>
Hazelwood Branch Bldg.,
Carnegie Library                 2016 September 8
                         Blog: <http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/>

Good afternoon, I am Glenn A. Walsh, 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.

I support reuse of the historic Hazelwood Library building, including the large auditorium. However, I oppose Bill 614 which would allow the City of Pittsburgh to sell-off the historic structure.

Bill 614 specifically states: “…conveying AS IS all of the City's right, title and interest, if any, in designated City-owned properties to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh ("URA") for consideration of $1.00 each…” Once this conveyance occurs, the City of Pittsburgh, and the people’s duly-elected representatives in this Council, no longer have any control over what happens to the building.

If the building is sold to a third party, there is no guarantee that the structure will be reused for the benefit of city residents. This third party may make all types of promises, but after obtaining the building and learning how much it will really cost to rehab the structure, they may give-up and the building will sit empty for many more years.

The City should seek reuse of the Hazelwood Library building the same way it sought reuse of the historic Buhl Planetarium building in 2002---by long-term lease. This way, the City retains control of the historic structure for the benefit of city residents.

I would have no problem with the URA, or a community group such as the Hazelwood Initiative, leasing the building from the City and reusing it. However, Andrew Carnegie gave this building to the City for a public purpose, and the building should always be owned by the City, so the people of Pittsburgh will always have a say in what happens to the building.

Thank you.

gaw

Related Blog Posts ---

"Proposed Sale of Historic Hazelwood Library: Public Hearing Thursday."

2016 Sept. 5.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/proposed-sale-of-historic-hazelwood.html

 

"Keep Historic Hazelwood Library as City Property." 2016 Aug. 18.

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/08/keep-historic-hazelwood-library-as-city.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Sept. 13.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/astronomical-calendar-2016-january.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

Want to receive LibraryWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
Send request to < librarywatchtower@andrewcarnegie.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, LibraryWatchtower Editor / Author:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Twitter Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* West End Branch, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/cfl.html#westend >
* Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie PA:
http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Monday, September 5, 2016

Proposed Sale of Historic Hazelwood Library: Public Hearing Thursday

http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/CLP-Dome1.JPG
Ornamental dome skylight over the circulation desk of the historic Hazelwood
Branch building of Carnegie Library, which opened to the public in 1900.
(Image Source: History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Internet Web Site;
Photographer: Lynne S. Walsh)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

In July, the City of Pittsburgh proposed selling the historic Hazelwood Branch Library building of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) for $1, in preparation for sale to a third party for redevelopment.

Last month, long-time city activist David Tessitor, who founded the Pittsburgh Free-Net Internet web portal < http://pghfree.net/ > in 2004 (immediately after The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh abandoned their Three Rivers Free-Net), successfully petitioned for a public hearing before Pittsburgh City Council, regarding this proposed sale. This public hearing will occur this-coming Thursday Afternoon, 2016 September 8 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, in the Council Chamber of Pittsburgh City Council – located on the 5th floor of the City-County Building, at 414 Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh had abandoned the historic Hazelwood Library building, in favor of a down-sized library branch on the second floor of a new retail building, on 2004 March 13. On 2004 July 14, the historic Hazelwood Library branch building, along with four other historic library branches (West End, Mount Washington, Lawrenceville, and Homewood), received a unanimous vote from the Pittsburgh City Council naming each of these five buildings as a "City-Designated Historic Structure," after receiving the nomination for this designation by the late Walter Kidney of the the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

Should a sale of the historic Hazelwood Library building occur, the people of Pittsburgh, and particularly the people in the Hazelwood neighborhood, will no longer have any influence in the use, or disuse, of this historic property. This building includes a large auditorium, which has been used for community events for more than a century.

City residents, and particularly residents of the Hazelwood neighborhood, are encouraged to attend and speak before City Council at this public hearing, regarding this important issue. Any member of the public can speak for three minutes, at this public hearing. It would be best to register ahead of time to speak at this public hearing, by telephoning the Pittsburgh City Clerk's office at 412-255-2138, during normal business hours.

Personally appearing and speaking, before City Council at this public hearing, would be the best way to register your opposition to the proposed sale of the historic Hazelwood Library building. However, if for any reason you cannot appear and speak at this public hearing, you can write a short electronic mail message and send the message to me, Glenn A. Walsh, at the following address:
                                          < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >.
At the public hearing, I will submit to City Council any and all e-mail messages I receive, in opposition to the sale of the historic Hazelwood Library building.

The following is the official City notice of this public hearing:

Public Hearing Schedule

Bill Nos. 2016-0614 & 2016-0663 Cooperation Agreement & Petition, City-owned properties sold to URA
Thursday, September 8th, 2016 - 2:00 pm
2016-0614 Resolution authorizing the Mayor and the Director of the Department of Finance to execute  a quit claim deed or deeds,  and any other necessary or appropriate documents, agreements, and instruments conveying AS IS all of the City’s right, title and interest, if any, in designated City-owned properties to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (“URA”) for consideration of $1.00 each, contingent upon the Mayor and Director of the Department of Finance first entering into a Cooperation Agreement or Agreements with the URA setting forth the rights and obligations of the City and the URA relating to these initial conveyances and further setting forth the rights and obligations of the City and the URA relating to the subsequent disposition of these properties to third parties. (CABLECAST)
2016-0663 Petition from the residents of the City of Pittsburgh requesting a Public Hearing before City Council relative to Bill No. 2016-0614 as it relates to legislation conveying City-owned properties to the URA. The Petition is valid in accordance with the Home Rule Charter. (CABLECAST)

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Bill Number 2016-0614, which proposes to sell historic Hazelwood Library building to URA for $1:
Link >>> https://pittsburgh.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2778755&GUID=3E19B1D7-201D-4C90-B125-623971E58534

Hazelwood Library Photo Album:
Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/photoalbumCLP-branches.htm#hazel

Save Hazewood Library: Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/hazelwood/

Bauder, Bob. Pittsburgh moving to sell properties to promote development
Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh 2016 July 12.
Proposed sale of original Carnegie Library, Hazelwood Branch, from City of Pittsburgh to Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh for one dollar, for future redevelopment.

Belko, Mark. "Pittsburgh looks to join development boom in its own backyard."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2016 July 12.
Proposed sale of original Carnegie Library, Hazelwood Branch, from City of Pittsburgh to Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh for one dollar, for future redevelopment.

Pittsburgh Free-Net: Link >>> http://pghfree.net/

Related Blog Posts ---

"Historic Hazelwood Library Public Hearing." 2016 Sept. 13.

(Includes public statement of Glenn A. Walsh before Pittsburgh City Council)

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/historic-hazelwood-library-public.html

 

"Keep Historic Hazelwood Library as City Property." 2016 Aug. 18.

(Includes public statement of Glenn A. Walsh before Pittsburgh City Council)

Link >>> http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/08/keep-historic-hazelwood-library-as-city.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Sept. 5.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/astronomical-calendar-2016-january.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

Want to receive LibraryWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
Send request to < librarywatchtower@andrewcarnegie.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, LibraryWatchtower Editor / Author:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Twitter Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* West End Branch, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/cfl.html#westend >
* Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie PA:
< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Expand, Not Abandon, Historic Carnegie Library in Litchfield, Illinois

Litchfield Carnegie Public Library
In 1903, Andrew Carnegie provided Litchfield, Illinois with $15,000 for construction of a public library. (Image Source: Litchfield Public Library District)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

In July, the Litchfield, Illinois Public Library District announced plans to construct a new library building near the south edge of town, which would replace their historic Carnegie Library building in the town square, called Library Park, in the center of town.

One of the earliest Carnegie Libraries to be constructed, Andrew Carnegie provided the City of Litchfield with $15,000 to build a public library in 1903; the Library opened to the public the following year. A renovation of the Library in 1999 made the historic structure handicapped-accessible, including the addition of an elevator.

After looking for property for a new library building beginning in November, the Library's Board of Trustees purchased a site near the Litchfield Community Center in February. Evan Lynch Associates of Springfield, Illinois, which assisted with the previous two renovations of the current Carnegie Library building, was hired to help plan the new building. However, only last month was there public awareness of plans for a new library.

The new building is expected to have 12,000 square feet, all on one floor; the current Carnegie Library building has 6,900 square feet on three floors. According to Litchfield Public Library District Librarian Sara Zumwalt, through savings and donations, the library has already enough money for a down-payment on the new building; a bank loan would provide the rest of the money for the project. She insists that this project will not require a tax increase.

In the July 7 issue of The Journal-News of Montgomery County, Illinois, Ms. Zumwalt claimed that the current Carnegie Library building is running out of space. She said, "We're just out of room. We have books sitting on top of books. We are always moving stuff around to try and make more room. But we are full."

However, she also made the erroneous statement that because the historic Carnegie Library is “listed on the Historic Registry so we can't build on." Actually, a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places cannot receive Federal funds if the historic building is demolished and another building constructed on the same site. Additions are permitted, provided the proposed addition is reviewed and approved by the appropriate state and Federal historic agencies.

Long-time library advocate Glenn A. Walsh, who served as a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2000 and who authors an Internet web site on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries, commented on this matter in a Letter-to-the-Editor published in the August 15 issue of The Journal-News:

Additions To Historic Libraries Are Permitted

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 12:01 am
0 comments


As a former Life Trustee with the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, PA, (and author of the internet website on the history of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie libraries), I am concerned with the possibility that the Litchfield Public Library may abandon their historic Carnegie Library building. One of the earliest Carnegie Libraries, in 1903 Andrew Carnegie provided the City of Litchfield $15,000 to construct the city's historic library.

Litchfield Mayor Steve Dougherty is completely correct when he says that additions to historic structures are permitted. Two very prominent examples of such additions are large, multi-story additions built behind and adjacent-to the historic Carnegie Libraries in both Louisville, KY, and Columbus, OH.


In fact, both federal and state funds can be used for such additions; such funding is just prohibited if the historic building would be demolished and another building constructed on the same site. State and federal historic agencies would simply need to review and approve the construction of an addition to a building listed-on, or eligible-for, the National Register of Historic Places.

I strongly urge city and library officials to seriously consider building an addition to this historic Carnegie library.

Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Litchfield (Illinois) Carnegie Public Library:
Link 1 >>> http://www.litchfieldpubliclibrary.org/about-us
Link 2 >>> http://www.litchfieldpubliclibrary.org/about-us/librarypic1.jpg/view

Walsh, Glenn A. "Additions To Historic Libraries Are Permitted." Letter-to-the-Editor.
The Journal-News, Hillsboro IL 2016 Aug. 15.

Herschelman, Kyle. "Litchfield Library Answers Questions On New Building."
The Journal-News, Hillsboro IL 2016 Aug. 4.

(Galer) Herschelman, Mary. "Litchfield Public Library To Get New Building."
The Journal-News, Hillsboro IL 2016 July 7.

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Aug. 21.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory 
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/astronomical-calendar-2016-january.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

Want to receive LibraryWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
Send request to < librarywatchtower@andrewcarnegie.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, LibraryWatchtower Editor / Author:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Twitter Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* West End Branch, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/cfl.html#westend >
* Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie PA:
< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Library Park in Carnegie Borough to be Enhanced

http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/LibraryPark-snow1-2.JPG
Photograph of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall at the top of Library Hill
within Library Park, which overlooks the business district of the Borough of Carnegie, Pennsylvania. During the Winter months, as pictured here, neighborhood children often sled-ride in
Library Park.
(Image Source: History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Internet Web Site; Photographer: Lynne S. Walsh)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

After several years of rehabilitating the historic Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall building in the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Library management has announced plans to enhance Library Park. Library Park consists of part of a large hill (known as Library Hill, with the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall at the top of the Hill), which overlooks the business district of the Borough of Carnegie.

Upon the opening of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall on 1901 May 1 (the cornerstone was actually laid in 1899), the Library Foyer includes a plaque which reads ---

                                  "THIS BUILDING AND PARK
                                   GIVEN AND DEDICATED BY
                                        ANDREW CARNEGIE
                         TO THE CITIZENS OF THIS BOROUGH
                                         ANNO DOMINI 1899"

Over more than a century, Library Park has been a grassy and partially wooded hill, the only green space in the center of busy Carnegie Borough. Library Park has been the host of several public events over the years, including encampments of Civil War re-enactors (affiliated with the Library's historic Civil War veterans' post museum) and even a public viewing of a Partial Eclipse of the Sun on 1998 February 26 (one of only two sites in Allegheny County for such a public viewing, and the only site outside of the City of Pittsburgh).

The center of the enhancements to Library Park would be a new paved pathway from the Library, down the hill to the corner of Broadway and East Main Street, near the center of the Borough's business district. Actually, the sidewalk / plaza area along Broadway at Main Street (which, legally, is part of Library Park) was rehabilitated by the Borough several years ago; so this area would not be included in this new proposal.

The proposed pathway through the Park to Main Street would provide easier access to parking lots in the business district, for people attending Music Hall events. Vehicle parking for events in the Music Hall has always been limited at the top of Library Hill, although there has never been a problem with parking for people who regularly visit the Library.

This new pathway would also improve pedestrian access to the Library, after the steps from Beechwood Avenue to the Library entrance were removed during re-landscaping of that area in front of the Library entrance. Steps, next to the World War I Memorial, which provided access to the Park from the former Broadway site of Carnegie High School, had been removed many years earlier.

A children's play area is one of the ideas being considered for Library Park. In the late 1990s, the Library's Board of Trustees attempted to obtain children's playground equipment from a Burger King in Greenfield, which was closing. This attempt was not successful.

Although two Borough-maintained benches exist along the sidewalk of the Beechwood Avenue entrance to Library Park, additional benches along the new walkway through the Park have been proposed. Better lighting, landscaping, sculptures, and, perhaps, even a plaza area are being considered for Library Park.

A $35,000 grant from the Allegheny Foundation is helping to fund the design concept for Library Park enhancements. The design concept is being formulated by LaQuatra Bonci Associates of Pittsburgh.

A community meeting at the Library, at the beginning of this month, allowed community members to provide public input into the Library Park plan. A possible design concept, with a proposed budget for the improvements, is expected to be available next month for consideration by the Library's Board of Trustees. Then, fund-raising for the project can begin.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Photograph Album - Library Park of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall:
Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/photofreelibrary.htm#LP

News Release: "Safe Public Viewing of Solar Eclipse at Library Park." 1998 Feb. 10.
Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/nrsol.htm

Wilson Fuoco, Linda.
"Design ready, but money needed for proposed Library Park."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2016 Oct. 14.
News article includes rendering of proposed improvements to Carnegie, PA's Library Park, for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall.
Link >>> http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/10/14/Design-ready-money-needed-for-proposed-Library-Park/stories/201610070010

Mayernik, Jr., David.
"Park planned for Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie."</a><br>
Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh 2016 Oct. 7.
News article includes rendering of proposed improvements to Carnegie, PA's Library Park.
Link >>> http://triblive.com/local/carlynton/11228703-74/library-park-hall

Spezialetti, Jim. "Park planned for Carnegie library, music hall land."
Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh 2016 Aug. 10.
Plan to enhance Library Park, given along with the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, by Andrew Carnegie in 1901.

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Aug. 20.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory 
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/01/astronomical-calendar-2016-january.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

Want to receive LibraryWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
Send request to < librarywatchtower@andrewcarnegie.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, LibraryWatchtower Editor / Author:
http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >
Twitter Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* West End Branch, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/cfl.html#westend >
* Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie PA:
< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >