One of my favorite details of the library is the inscription above the main entrance: “Free to the People.” It is such a simple statement, but boldly stands above you as you enter creating a call for attention. Carnegie himself created this permanent advertisement that would appeal to any readers ears.
The structure itself was built in and is connected to Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Music Hall. It was created in modified Italian Renaissance style and is constructed of gray sandstone. The building has a frieze below the roofline that is inscribed with names of distinguished musicians, artists, authors, and scientists. Elmer E. Garnsey, who also decorated the Boston Public Library and the Library of Congress, decorated this library in Oakland.
Hayley Pontia is a student at The University of Pittsburgh who works as a freelancer for Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Through this blog series, she will share her unique perspective on our historic building and the surrounding architecture of nearby buildings in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.