Carnegie Libraries of Pennsylvania

Cities A-H

Pennsylvania's Carnegie libraries tend to be very different from those in the rest of the US. Several contain entertainments and diversions for steel mill workers. This page contains an image of the Grove City Carnegie library, not included in printed works on Carnegie libraries, which broke contractual obligations, served the public for only six years, and became part of a college campus, leaving the city bereft of service.


Allegheny will be included on the Pittsburgh page.

Beaver Falls

Plastichrome Colourpicture 'chrome' postcard of as high inage quality as the turn-of-the-century postcards


1899 grant; still in use.

Braddock Borough

(L) Five women and two men stand on the steps of the library. To the left is The Famous, Braddock's Big Store.
(R) Bye-bye, phone pole. The same group stands on the steps, but now a quartet of men stand when the pole stood. Other people, as well as two cars, magically appear.

Eclectic Medieval Carnegie library building. I believe it's one of the only non-academic Library buildings in the US in this style.


First Carnegie library in the United States (1888).
Bobinski dates the grant to 1900 for some odd reason. However, the old library page on Blogspot, linked to 1893 photos.

According to Wikipedia, William Halsey Wood was the original architect; but Longfellow, Alden & Harlow built the 1893 addition that contained a swimming pool, indoor basketball court, and music hall--complete with pipe organ.


Information from

1900 grant: replaced in 1991. Sold in 1993 to become a successful restaurant.

(L) 1909 card also shows a cart of some type.

(R) H.H. Hamm card, probably printed by Curt Teich, was mailed in 1920.


Now known as the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall.
Or, more cheekily, the Carnegie Carnegie.


Built in 1899: designed by architects Stuthers and Hannah. It is considered to be Italianate in style. The Music Hall has a separate entrance than the Library.


This is believed to be a Curt Teich card. If so, it dates from 1910.


Bleak early card shows a huge set of steps.

Hinsky Bros./C.T. American Art postcard.

Dexter Press 'Chrome' postcard.

1899 grant: still in use.
The statue is of Col. William Crawford, an early settler who was burned at the stake.


Late 1916 grant. Dedicated in 1917, per the card reverse. I have never seen a contemporaneous postcard.


The small sign which mentions Civil Defense dates this card to the Cold War era.


1904 - 1968

OK, I'm not sure that this can be so.
A swimming pool? Shower baths? Bowling alleys?

Evidently Carnegie works employees, for a small fee, had access to all these things. City residents accessed the library portion.


(L) Rotograph card, mailed in 1908.
(R) The card has a linen-finish, and appears to be quite common.


1901 grant. Still in use in 2018, with an addition plus 3 branches.

Interesting history on the Library's website. A city website revealed that Easton received two grants (1902, probably the construction date; and 1913). It also has a picture of an earlier library building.

Grove City

Built jointly with Grove City College, founded 1876. Grove City Community Library, founded in 1958,  has no mention whatsoever about the Carnegie building, which served as a city-college library from 1900-1906. 

At that point, it reverted to the Christian college and also took on gymnasium and music hall functions, with the installation of an organ in 1907. Except for a ~1915 Grove City Library Club, apparently, the municipality had no library for 52 years, until the Junior Woman's Club stepped in.

The Neogeorgian building, still extant, serves as the Carnegie Alumni Center on the "lower campus." A new library was built by the college in 1954.

The postcard, printed in Germany for Black's Bargain Store, was mailed in 1908. 


1903 grant. Still in use.
The building looks like a smaller version of the Joliet, Illinois Carnegie building.


What a beautiful ca. 1907 card! I don't know if cherries have any connection with the city, but the card was produced for Schollenberger's Confectionery of Hamburg.

Homestead (Munhall)

According to the card:
First Library Andrew Carnegie donated.
Now used as an office of the Carnegie Steel Works,
Homestead, Pa.

Litho-chrome brand card, 
mailed in 1908.

Souvenir brand postcard.

1896 grant. Built in 1898. Still in use. No evidence for the use as an office.

This is not just a library: it's also an athletic club and a music hall. Wow. I suspect this was one of those facilities meant to 'improve' the lives of Carnegie's employees. As if a steelworker needed--or had time--to work out.

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Scanned images are provided in the spirit of scholarly study. Most are of an age to be in the public domain. However, if you use my scans, please credit this site.