The historic Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-South Side officially reopens Saturday with state-of-the art green technology.
A ribbon cutting will be held at 11 a.m. at the library at 2205 East Carson St. The building underwent a $2.7 million renovation over the past year and was closed while work was under way. The renovation was funded by a capital campaign called Libraries for Life.
Suzanne Thinnes, library spokeswoman, said that patrons are sure to note that "for the first time in its 103-year history, the library will have air conditioning."
That's thanks to a state-of-the-art new geothermal heating and cooling system -- the first of its kind in a Pittsburgh library -- that will keep the building cool in the summer and eliminate the need for natural gas to heat the facility in the winter.
"We made a commitment to provide comfortable, accessible and environmentally friendly library spaces," said Mary Frances Cooper, CLP president.
"This renovation challenged us to integrate modern technology into a historic building."
The building's renovation also includes the reconditioning of existing windows, insulation and a new slate roof. A new elevator in the building makes all three levels of the library fully accessible. There is also a new meeting room for up to 100 in the basement and a second-floor seminar room. Visitors will also see new front entrance stairs, which mimic the original plans of the library's main entrance.
Constructed in 1909, CLP-South Side was one of the city's first neighborhood libraries.
Roberta Stackawitz of the South Side, who is president of Friends of the South Side Library, has fond memories of the original building and is eager to see the renovated one.
"My mother first took me there when I was 5 years old to get a library card," she recalled. "And it was the place teens gathered in the evening."
The retired teacher said she used the library to prepare classroom work.
"I'm glad to see it reopen."
A project overview is available online at www.carnegielibrary.org/southside. For other details, call 412-431-0505.
Freelance writer Mary Ellen Leigh contributed to this article.