Thursday, July 15, 2010

East Liberty Library to Reopen Late August

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s East Liberty branch will reopen next month after more than a year of construction and renovation.

Carnegie Library Executive Director Barbara Mistick says crews have installed a 9,000 square foot addition that allows all library services to be housed on the first floor, including the children’s, teen, and adult sections.

Two main entrances will allow for both parking lot and pedestrian access.

The second floor will consist of three meeting rooms, which will accommodate the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council’s tutoring sessions. The basement will house the library’s Heritage Collection, including documents dating as far back as 1617.

EDGE Studios lead architect Anne Chen says the exterior of the building will now be visible from Baum Boulevard.

“The zinc panel that we used, we really love. I think it’s a beautiful kind of organic material. It has some depth to it, and some texture. It sort of reminds me of a metal velvet,” says Chen.

Chen says a new atrium also opens up the interior, while lighting hung at different levels sectionalizes the first floor space.

The building will be LEED certified as well. Evolve Architecture principal and green consultant Mark Mondor says more efficient water fixtures and modern window and heating systems will save the library money.

The changes are part of Carnegie Library’s Capital Improvement Program, which aims to refurbish or replace outdated libraries in various Pittsburgh communities. The total cost of the East Liberty renovation was $5.6 million. The library is slated to reopen August 27.

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