A Quick Tour Of The Carnegie Library, Oakland Branch

Achievement: #64. Visit 4 Libraries

One thing we really enjoy doing is visiting public spaces and observing the architecture and layout. It’s always interesting to us to see the personality of a place based on how it’s put together, both aesthetically and in function. This year, we wanted to focus on one of our favorite kinds of spaces: the public library. Specifically, we’re looking at various branches in Allegheny County’s Carnegie Library system.

Our first stop is at the main branch of the Carnegie Library, right in the heart of Oakland. Since this post is all about the images, we’ll just focus on those and keep the commentary to a minimum. We hope you enjoy the tour!
Carnegie Library Oakland
The view from the street before you enter.
Carnegie Library Oakland
The building has a certain gravitas, no?
Carnegie Library Oakland
A touch of the modern amidst all the stone.
Carnegie Library Oakland
The open area of the library’s main floor is very inviting; off-camera, there’s a mini-Crazy Mocha branch that serves coffee, tea, and treats.
Carnegie Library Oakland
It’s hard to see it here, but in the jam-packed stacks, there is actually a small gap in the floor that runs along the base of each bookcase. It allows you to see the floors above and below, with their matching stacks that sit one atop the other. It’s like you’re searching one section of what is actually a mountain of knowledge.
Carnegie Library Oakland
It is easy to get lost (or simply lose oneself) back here.
Carnegie Library Oakland
“Were they merely seeking knowledge…”
Carnegie Library Oakland
“…or were they in the midst of a murder mystery?
Carnegie Library Oakland
Upstairs, out of the stacks, we’re back in warmer light and inviting, open space.
Carnegie Library Oakland
Some areas of the building even retain those nifty old school card catalogs.
Carnegie Library Oakland
A gorgeous view in the stairwell.
Carnegie Library Oakland
Gothic stone meets Singin’ in the Rain.
Carnegie Library Oakland
Ignore the anti-theft alarms and look at everything else. It all adds up to give you a feeling like you’re in a place of import. A place where something special happens.
Carnegie Library Oakland
As you exit the library, you can see the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.
Carnegie Library Oakland
Heading back toward the car, we were wished well by Dippy here, dressed in his jaunty little rasta hat.

And that, friends, is the Carnegie Library, main branch. Do visit, as they host many activities and have a massive variety of books. Check back with us next month when we visit this branch again for the 21+ event, After Hours @ the Library! We’ll return with another branch tour in the spring.

4 Comments

Filed under #64, #64-14, architecture, library, oakland

4 Responses to A Quick Tour Of The Carnegie Library, Oakland Branch

  1. Beautiful pictures! Great job capturing the essence of this amazing library.

  2. woubbie

    Too bad the old downtown branch has moved to a less lovely place. When I worked downtown it was in a gorgeous space in the Frick building. A brief history of the Downtown and Business Branches:

    http://www.carnegielibrary.org/locations/oliver/findingaids/DowntownandBusiness.pdf

  3. conte

    This is great for all Pittsburghers and also tourists who want to see an absolutely beautiful place where you can really make it your happy place if you so desire!!!

  4. San

    What great photos! Especially glad you featured the stacks, with their 3-inch-thick glass floors. I worked in the Oakland library (or, as employees used to irreverently say, “the big house”) for a couple of years. Nice to see the place is holding up so well!

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