Menu Contact/Location

Storm Damaged Allegheny Library Repaired

Arthur Ziegler, President of PHLF & David McMunn, President of the Mexican War Streets SocietyToday, the granite finial of the historic Allegheny Library was returned to its commanding position atop the clock tower after months of restoration work.

The Allegheny Library, located next to the Children’s museum in Central Allegheny City, was struck by lighting last summer which caused extensive damage to the finial, causing it to break into several large pieces, some of which landed inside the building and some on the lawn outside. No one was injured.

The library itself is relocating to a new building soon to be erected on Federal Street just north of North Avenue. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), working with the Children’s Museum and neighborhood North Side organizations, the Carnegie Library system, and the City, has commissioned studies by the architectural firm of Landmarks Design Associates for the possible adaptive use of the building.

Finial being secured to the crane.The Allegheny Carnegie Library was the first Carnegie Library commissioned, but it opened later than the one at Braddock. It was designed by Smith, Meyer & Pelz in 1888-1889 In the 1970s, the City announced the demolition of the Library, but PHLF spearheaded a petition drive, accumulating 7,000 signatures.

After that, the interior suffered unfortunate modernization, but the exterior is still in excellent condition. An interesting feature of the building is the slight lightening of color in the stone rising in the sections of the tower. Landmarks staff worked with Cost Corporation to try to achieve the appropriate coloration of the granite for
the finial.

Finial being reinstalled to the tower.The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a City designated landmark, and has PHLF plaque.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633