Last week, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh announced plans to build a new branch library in the Hill District.
The new library – to occupy Kirkpatrick Street from Centre to Wylie avenues -- will be the first new building in the city’s library system since the Sheraden branch in 1980.
Coincidentally, the corner of Wylie and Kirkpatrick was once home to Eddie’s Restaurant, where renowned playwright and Hill native August Wilson often went to read, write and soak up raw material. Another famous Wilson haunt, of course, was the library, so much so that the Carnegie awarded him an honorary high school diploma in 1999.
The URA owns the property and is helping to prepare the site; it can be transferred to the library system with city council approval.
Spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes says a new library – with a construction budget of about $3 million -- will offer a bigger, better space overall, with specialized areas for children and teens and computer-friendly infrastructure.
So far, there’s no preliminary design. Starting soon, architects Rob Pfaffmann and Associates will organize public gatherings to collect ideas from the neighborhood.
The new Hill District will be the seventh construction project -- and the first new building -- in the Carnegie Library’s capital improvement campaign, which kicked off with a 2001 bond issue. The renovations started with the Homewood branch – another Pfaffmann project – and moved on to the Downtown, Squirrel Hill, Hazelwood, Brookline and Wood’s Run branches, as well as the first floor of the Main Library in Oakland.
Source: Suzanne Thinnes, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh communications manager
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. www.clpgh.org