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Pittsburgh's Carnegie Libraries

Allegheny, PA Carnegie library

America's first Carnegie Library, dedicated in 1890 by Benjamin Harrison, after four years of beautiful construction..

April 6, 2006. Lightning bolt to the tower.

By the way, the clock took a lickin' and kept on tickin'. It survived its multi-story fall and the lightning. However, the library branch was replaced in 2009.

This handsome postcard was published in 1905 by the prolific Detroit Publishing Company, which featured many large city libraries.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Embossed and glittered postcard of the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh

Conceptually, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh dates back to an offer made to the city in 1881. The system's official founding date is considered to be 1895.


Eight branches eventually came from Andrew Carnegie's generosity, which even extended to his complete funding of the Homewood Branch.

Eagle embossed postcard

Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, PA in oval vignette.
Schenley Park Carnegie library

Hugh C. Leighton postcard

Mailed 1908

Carnegie Library, Schenley Park

Interior Views
Carnegie Library Statuary Hall
Carnegie Library Staircase of Art Gallery
Carnegie Library Hall of Architecture

Albertype series. The Statuary Hall card (L) was mailed in 1907. The other two were never mailed.


These are both tinted Albertype images. There are rows of card catalogs to the rear of the reading room. The murals at the head of the art gallery stairs seem to feature industry.

Other Branches
East End
East End Carnegie Branch Library, Pittsburgh, PA

One of several 1905 Carnegie libraries, also known as "East Liberty." This was demolished and replaced in the late 1960s.

The Pittsburgh News Litho-Chrome postcard was mailed in 1907.

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