Seating Chart (click to view)
Built in 1898, the Carnegie Library of Homestead was constructed by William Miller and Sons of Pittsburgh at a cost of $250,000. The second of three libraries built here in the Mon Valley, the Carnegie Library of Homestead was built for use by the common man but adorned with grandeur and opulence fit for a royal family. The Carnegie Library of Homestead is the oldest Carnegie library in continuous operation in its original structure in the US, and was chosen by CNN in 2014 as one of the 27 most fascinating libraries in the world to visit. Unique to other libraries, it also is home to a full-service athletic facility and grand concert hall.
Also known as the Carnegie of Homestead, its modern mission is to provide programs and facilities that enhance learning, wellness and quality of life within and outside the Steel Valley. Today, we serve over 17,000 residents of Munhall, Homestead, West Homestead, Whitaker, and families in nearby communities such as West Mifflin, Lincoln Place, Hays, Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, Duquesne and more. The Carnegie of Homestead uplifts and improves the lives of youth, families and the elderly, by serving as a community activities center for families and groups throughout the Mon Valley.
The Library holds 3,000,000 county-wide items in collection including books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, newspapers, magazines and eResources. There are nearly 7,000 cardholders (35% of our residents) and on average 733 people visit daily. 30 computers provide over 30,000 online access sessions annually by the general public, including disadvantaged individuals who cannot afford home computers and online services. The library holds over 1,000 learning programs annually in which almost 20,000 participate of all ages. On any given day, a variety of activities are happening: toddler and children story time, arts and crafts; science and art classes for homeschooled children; literacy outreach & book distribution to 30+ local preschools and daycare centers; homework assistance for teens equipped with computers and media; laptops and iPads with college-level computer programming, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Math) workshops including robotics in the Makerspace classroom; book clubs for teens through seniors, knitting classes, crafting workshops for adults, and cultural programs such as Japanese or Russian language and psyanky egg decorating!
The Athletic Club hosts 1,100 members who pay affordable fees to attend in Yoga, Water Aerobics, Spinning, Tai Chi, and Zumba classes in the fitness studios, enjoy our heated indoor swimming pool, gymnasium with a walking track, and train for baseball/softball using our indoor batting cages. 200 youth participate in year-round sports lessons and 230 adults enjoy year-round basketball and volleyball leagues. 150 children and adults learned to swim, participated in aquatics exercise and scuba instruction classes. 550 seniors are active members of our Silver Sneakers/Silver and Fit exercise classes geared to older adults.
The Music Hall seats 1,045 guests in an intimate atmosphere that has changed very little from the original venue. In 2019, 50,000 patrons traveled from Western Pennsylvania and across the country to see nationally known entertainers such as American Idol, Little River Band, Boz Scaggs, Jeff Goldblum, and more. The Music Hall uniquely serves also as a “community house” to local nonprofits offering meeting space for civic engagement, programs and services such as graduation commencement exercises, naturalization ceremonies, school band concerts, church plays and local dance recitals. Year-round, the music hall serves as an economic driver for nearby restaurants, retail establishments and hotels – for every 50 shows held, the Carnegie brings over $1,000,000 in revenue to the Waterfront and Eighth Avenue business districts. Space rentals and ticket sales provide revenue to support the facility and programs that serve our community. “The Carnegie of Homestead is a textbook example of social enterprise and sustainability reinvention,” experts say, “by using revenue from the music hall and its fitness club memberships to stay viable.” The library’s core mission has been preserved, and then some: you can check out a book or use a computer, take a Spinning class, learn to swim or enjoy a concert.
Andrew Carnegie’s vision is alive today as the Carnegie of Homestead continues its dedication to the community by providing vital resources to families throughout the Mon Valley. To read more about the history of the Carnegie of Homestead, please visit the library’s website at www.CarnegieofHomestead.org.