One way or another, industrialist Andrew Carnegie built about 1700 libraries in the United States. Four of the libraries were constructed and endowed by Carnegie, meaning they were not only built with Carnegie funds, but income was provided to keep them going.

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall (ACFL&MH) is one of those endowed libraries built by Carnegie in the United States. The ACFL&MH resides in Carnegie, Pennsylvania itself, named for Mr. Carnegie. According to the ACFL&MH history provided at its website, “in 1894, the boroughs of Mansfield and Chartiers consolidated to become one – Carnegie.” In addition to a library, the ACFL&MH includes a Music Hall, a Lecture Hall, a Civil War Museum, and other features.

Carnegie was able to continue to provide funds for libraries through the Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropical fund. In order to obtain a Carnegie grant, a library organization must have property on which to build the facility and they must have a means of ongoing support. This insured that the libraries had grass root support. The libraries were soundly constructed in brick and stone—the type of construction that would last.  As the buildings have aged, some have become too small to be serviceable and have been raised or repurposed for other uses. J. P. Morgan and US Steel Corporation bought Andrew Carnegie’s steel empire in 1901. Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 and he was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Other famous Americans are buried in the cemetery, including Washington Irving, whose wrote the haunting short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ” that first appeared in Irving’s Sketch Book.

 

One of dozens of posts on Carnegie Libraries published on the Sporting Chance Press website.

Image from ACFL&MH website.