Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Andrew Carnegie Libraries

on January 11, 2023

(Vintage postcard of our town’s Andrew Carnegie Library, built in 1913)

When I was a child growing up in Southern California, our town’s public library was an Andrew Carnegie Library, built in 1913. I always admired the historic architecture and felt quite heartbroken when the city decided to tear it down and replace it with a more modern structure. Yes, the newer building was easier to navigate and filled with light, but the old, beat-up structure had more character. It reeked of history and days gone by.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated with his poverty-stricken family to Pennsylvania, USA in 1848. With only a few years of schooling behind him, this self-made millionaire managed to rise — through hard work and shrewd investments — from a lowly factory boy to a railroad worker to a powerful steel magnate. He sold the Carnegie Steel Company to banker J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480 million. After retiring, he spent the rest of his life and most of his fortune on philanthropic projects.

Carnegie believed that the wealthy have “a moral obligation to distribute [their wealth] in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man” (The Gospel of Wealth, 1889). He funded the construction of Carnegie Hall in New York City and founded the Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Foundation.

A devoted bibliophile, Carnegie funded the construction of 2,811 public libraries in America, Europe, and other parts of the world. Some of these buildings are still in public use as libraries or government centers. He is buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, New York.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Dawn Pisturino

January 11, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


15 responses to “Andrew Carnegie Libraries

  1. revruss1220 says:

    What a great legacy. I wonder where we would be today if our current crop of billionaires thought like Carnegie.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Myheartscry says:

    What a great legacy he left. I can’t imagine not having libraries, and he built so many.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Robert J Jr. says:

    Wonderful insight into a man’s life!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Michele Lee says:

    Great share! I enjoyed learning about Carnegie and his philanthropic endeavors years ago. Impressive! 📚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. utahan15 says:

    a true philanthropist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 13rrance says:

    Dear mlle Dawn
    (If I may call you mlle dawn)

    That is a beautiful place, and it is so sad to destroy such a monument to history. The past was not heaven, far from it, so is the present, and I may not bet for the future either, most of the time 😅😅. But we should not ignore the past.

    Thank you in presenting that very nice place from your youth. Take care have fun

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful and a great legacy right there

    Liked by 1 person

  8. wonderful sharing Dawn and love the quote. Thanks for sharing! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very informative post about Carnegie.💐

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Eric says:

    Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .

    Liked by 2 people

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