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

Bailey, Bill. "Use Library For Next Gen Educational Purposes." Letter-to-the-Editor.
The Journal-News, Hillsboro IL 2017 June 19.
Link >>> http://www.thejournal-news.net/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/use-library-for-next-gen-educational-purposes/article_6f68e898-5491-11e7-892b-4b6686cef801.html

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!

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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

Cherry, Bobby. "Work to create Library Park in Carnegie set to begin."
TribLive.com: Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh 2017 June 3.
Improvements to Library Park, at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, are about to begin.
Link >>> http://triblive.com/local/carlynton/12361742-74/work-to-create-library-park-in-carnegie-set-to-begin

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 >

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Keep Historic Hazelwood Library as City Property

Hazelwood Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh 
The original building of the Hazelwood Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,
which opened in 1900 as the fourth neighborhood library branch in the first multi-library
Carnegie Library system.
(Image Source: History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Internet Web Site; Photographer: Lynne S. Walsh)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for LibraryWatchtower

Last month, 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.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh had abandoned the historic building, in favor of a downsized 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."

Should such a sale 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.

Long-time library advocate Glenn A. Walsh, has taken-issue with such a sale. Mr. Walsh served as a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2000. Since 1999, he has been the Web Site Administrator for the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Internet web site.

On 2016 July 20, Mr. Walsh addressed his concerns before the Council of the City of Pittsburgh, with the following public statement:

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                 Electronic Mail: < gaw@planetarium.cc > 
      Historic                           Internet Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc  >
Hazelwood Branch Bldg.,   Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com >
Carnegie Library                 2016 July 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.

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.

In a recent Post-Gazette article, Councilman O’Connor expressed an interest in starting a “community conversation” about the future of the Hazelwood Library building. Let the petitioned public hearing be a beginning of this community conversation. Mr. President, I respectfully ask that you schedule this public hearing in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

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

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.

Related Blog Post ---

"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


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for LibraryWatchtower.
             2016 Aug. 18.


                                                               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 >