Sunday, 7 December 2014

St Annes Library and its link to Carnegie Hall, New York

Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his very poor parents in 1848.  Carnegie started as a telegrapher and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks.  He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe.  He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold in 1901 for $480 million (in 2014, $13.6 billion) creating the U.S. Steel Corporation.  Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and scientific research.  With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh among others.  His life has often been referred to as a true "rags to riches" story.

A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, St Annes Library was one of the public libraries built others included university library systems.  1,689 libraries were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, Mauritius, Malaysia and Fiji.

The foundation stone of St. Anne's Library was laid in August 1904 and the building was officially opened on 10 January 1906. The land was given by the St. Annes on the Sea Land and Building Company and Andrew Carnegie paid for the building.

(Information mostly gathered from Wikipedia.) 

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