South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

South Side Library set to reopen


September 4, 2012

When the South Side Branch of the Carnegie Library reopens to the public on Saturday, it will feature some improvements including a geothermal heating and cooling system and an elevator going to all three floors.

For the first time in its 103 year history, Carnegie Library of PittsburghSouth Side, 2205 East Carson Street, will have air conditioning.

Thanks to a geothermal heating and cooling system, the first of its kind in a Pittsburgh library, the building will remain cool in the summer and eliminate the need of natural gas to heat the facility in the winter, providing the Library with substantial energy cost savings.

 "As part of our ongoing renovation plans we made a commitment to our community to provide comfortable, accessible and environmentally friendly library spaces," said Mary Frances Cooper,

president and director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. "This renovation challenged us to integrate modern technology into a historic building and think about how to adapt library buildings to meet the future needs of library users."

 Constructed in 1909, CLP – South Side was one of the

city's first neighborhood libraries. When it officially reopens to the public on Saturday, Sept. 8, residents will immediately notice the new monumental front entrance stairs, which mimic the original plans of the library's main entrance. Visitors are now welcomed into the space through a sky lit Reading Lounge and day lit Popular Library.

Library users will be happy to learn that the neighborhood's beloved "Nook was preserved, and the Children's Room has been updated to accommodate additional computers, wireless technology and outlets for portable electronic devices.

 The introduction of an elevator in the building ensures that all three levels of the

library are fully accessible. The building's basement now features a large meeting room that can accommodate up to 100 people, while the second floor contains a smaller seminar room.

CLP – South Side is one of four locations in the city to host the The Labs@ CLP, a digital media lab and free space for teenagers to "geek out" at the library. The Labs offers computers, equipment such as iPads and software for filmmaking, photography, graphic design, digital crafts, music production, stop-motion animation and more.

Teens can learn from Labs mentors, who are experts in various forms of digital media and expression, or simply experiment with the equipment and learn on their own terms.

 The building's $2.7 million renovation also includes the reconditioning of existing windows, insulation and a new slate roof.

 "The building is magnificent," said Bruce Kraus,

councilman, City of Pittsburgh Council District 3 and member, Carnegie Library Board of Trustees. "The new features and technological upgrades will no doubt attract library users from across the city. I truly believe the library is the crown jewel of the neighborhood, and this renovation gives it the opportunity to shine."

 To celebrate the reopening, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is hosting a two-day celebration: a ticketed preview reception on Thursday, Sept

. 6 to benefit the library and a free community day on Saturday, Sept. 8. The event's presenting sponsor is American Eagle Outfitters, and PNC is the preview reception sponsor.

 CLP – South Side is the

library's eleventh Capital Improvement project under its Libraries for LIFE capital campaign. As with all Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh renovations, CLP – South Side was renovated to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and is fully accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 A project overview, including building history, green attributes and construction facts are available online at


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