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Development News

Three area libraries turn a new page

Two city libraries and one borough library are undergoing major transformations.

Both the East Liberty and Allegheny branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) are revitalizing their facilities, and the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa. has been awarded a $500,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project grant toward its $6.7 million historic renovation project.

CLP East Liberty, at 130 S. Whitfield St., has announced June 13 as its last day of public service before its 39,000-square foot renovation and expansion. The $5.6 million project, designed by EDGE Studio, is expected to re-open in fall of 2010.

“East Liberty has one of the highest numbers of visitors of all locations,” says Suzanne Thinnes with CLP. “The current building was constructed in the 1960s, but the library has been in the community for over 100 years. It’s a vital part of the neighborhood, especially with all the new homes and businesses.”

Patrons displaced by construction may be interested in visiting CLP Allegheny, at 1230 Federal St. on the North Side, which is slated to open in June. The $6 million, 15,500 square-foot building was designed by Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects. The North Side has been without direct library service since April 2006 when the previous location was struck by lightning.

Another library bouncing back from damage is Carnegie, Pa.’s Library & Music Hall. Opened in 1901, it experienced years of flooding, and now—with the help of Design Alliance Architects—is structurally sound, weatherproof and accessible. The recently awarded grant will help convert a water-damaged, 4,000 square-foot gymnasium into a multi-purpose space, and restore the facility’s historic Civil War Room.

“We’ve done the essential things, now we’re doing the exciting things,” says Executive Director Maggie Forbes.

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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Suzanne Thinnes, communications manager, CLP; Maggie Forbes, executive director, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

Image courtesy Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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