Community meeting on reuse of old library Feb. 4


The New Hazlett Theater, at 6 Allegheny Center. (Photo/Kelly Thomas)

Northside community groups will hold a meeting Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Hazlett Theater at 6 Allegheny Center to discuss possible ways to reuse the original Carnegie Free Library building.

Early ideas from the unofficial building project committee include a dance studio, housing nonprofits or Citiparks offices, said Melinda Pietrusza, assistant to the director at the New Hazlett Theater.  Many people feel strongly about the building remaining in the public domain, as its original purpose was a public library.

Representatives from the New Hazlett Theater, the City of Pittsburgh and the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, along with their partners at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Children’s Museum and the Warhol Museum will discuss ideas for reuse with the community.  The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

This is the first meeting on the subject, and the groups involved hope to identify community goals and needs for the building. The meeting will welcome ideas on other potential preservation partners, and the New Hazlett Theater has hired Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects to draw preliminary plans and recommendations for future use.

"It is definitely in the very initial brainstorming process," Pietrusza said.

The committee also hopes to study the building and it’s current infrastructure to make sure they can make it as energy efficient as possible, she said.

Andrew Carnegie built the public library in 1890 and deeded it to the city, but the clocktower was hit in 2006, and the library relocated to Federal Street because of the high repair cost. The New Hazlett Theater currently occupies about half the building.

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