CLP - Mt. Washington reopens after $4M renovation, expansion
Last updated 1/13/2021 at 8:45pm
Residents are invited to tour the newly renovated CLP – Mt. Washington during a timed ticketed event on Saturday, Jan. 23.
After a much-anticipated year-long renovation project that added 46 percent more space to the building, CLP –Mt. Washington reopened for contactless curbside and walk-up service. Located at 315 Grandview Avenue overlooking Downtown Pittsburgh, the historic building is a well-utilized community resource for residents of Mt. Washington, Duquesne Heights, Allentown and Beltzhoover, and visitors from around the world who come to enjoy the view and ride the inclines.
With support from funders, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh made the $4.05 million investment as part of its Libraries for LIFE neighborhood revitalization program to ensure that the space is accessible, comfortable and meets the growing needs of the community.
Contactless curbside and walk-up service hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 12-7 p.m .; along with Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
To arrange for curbside service, contact the branch directly at 412-381-3380. The library's outdoor book drop is also open during business hours.
"Never could we have imagined that we would be completing our 18th renovation project in the midst of a global pandemic," said Mary Frances Cooper, president and director, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. "While COVID-19 has forced us, for the time being, to limit library services to virtual and contactless curbside options, when the building can fully reopen for in-person services I hope families with young children will enjoy exploring the fun, colorful children's area; teens will benefit from the space designed just for them; and adults will find the resources they need – whether it is a comfortable place to read a book or information on starting a new business or exploring a new career path."
First opened to the public in 1900, CLP – Mt. Washington was one of the original neighborhood-style libraries built by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. In order to preserve the historic fabric and designation of the library, Elagin Architecture's design included a two-story extension to the rear of the building. With this renovation, CLP – Mt. Washington will be ADA accessible for the first time in its long history with the addition of an accessible ramp and entryway from the street into the building, along with a two-stop elevator.
Additional branch highlights include:
• 2,721 square feet of additional space, making the Library 46 percent larger
• Distinct spaces for children, teens and adults
• A large meeting room and small conference room for community use
• An outdoor patio/terrace and fenced-in yard that can be used as a programming space
• New interior and exterior lighting fixtures that align with the historic nature of the building
• Energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems
CLP – Mt. Washington is the 18th and final neighborhood branch in the Pittsburgh library system to be renovated in the Library's Neighborhood Library Revitalization Program, which began in 2002. Support for the renovation and expansion was made possible by government grants and private contributions from individuals, foundations and organizations.
Major funding included awards from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County – Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Department of Education – Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund; and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Community & Economic Development – Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). A gift from UPMC Health Plan was made through the State's NAP program. Generous contributions from neighborhood friends and local organizations rounded out the funding.
Residents are welcome to walk through the re-designed, fully accessible building on Saturday, Jan. 23. A limited number of timed tickets will be available for reservation in advance of this event. A maximum of 12 tickets per half hour time slot, with no more than six people assigned per tour group, will be available to accommodate social distancing.
Registration for the walk through can be found at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/clp-mt-washington-reopening-celebration-timed-entry-tours-tickets-135379332227.
Registered guests are asked to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to their selected time slot to accommodate temperature screening. Screenings will take place outside. Masks are required to attend this event and must be worn for the duration of screening and library tour. A short waiting period may be necessary between tour groups and for temperature screenings.
"We are so excited to show off our updated space during this special event and cannot wait until our doors are open for in-person services again," said Ms. Cooper. "It is a place where people can learn, grow and transform their lives. The library serves as the center of the community, delivering help in times of need."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the building remains temporarily closed to in-person library service. Attendees of the January 23 event will not be able to check out or return books, utilize computers or seek assistance from staff while inside the building. Staff will assist residents through contactless services, including phone, email, text and curbside.
Real-time assistance is available from library staff seven days a week. To access library services, call 412-622-3114, chat using the "How can we help?" icon the library's website, or text 412-775-3900.