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.


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

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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 >

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