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Life in Carnegie: Adopt Our Landmark

July 2, 2018










Adopt Our Landmark

By Maggie Forbes, Executive Director, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall (ACFL&MH)

On Friday, May 18, members of the Hayes Design Group Architects (HDG) held their third annual “Adopt-A-Landmark” day at the Library & Music Hall. That morning they worked under the guidance of staff from the Western PA Conservancy to weed, mulch and edge the ACFL&MH’s grounds. They also installed a plaque in memory of Leo Sienicki on a bench in front of the Library, and three “No Parking Any Time” signs on our driveway parallel to Home Street. (It’s a fire lane. And we don’t want patrons parking on the Library & Music Hall’s grass any more than you’d want someone parking on your lawn at home!)

After a lunch break and tour of the Library & Music Hall, the HDG group switched gears from landscaping to a more fine motor activity. They spent their last couple of hours at the Library & Music Hall working with artist Laura Jean McLaughlin on the mosaic mural for Library Park.

HDG’s day at the ACFL&MH was a greatly appreciated day of service. It was a team-building exercise for the firm as well. While working on the mural, Kevin Hayes, Principal and founder of HDG, intermittently called out “Time to switch,” so that his employees would work with different colleagues. There was a little bit of grumbling. Artisans grow attached to the panels they are working on!

HDG’s “adopted” Fallingwater and Woodville Plantation prior to its day at the Library & Music Hall. “Part of our mission as architects is to help build strong communities;’ said Hayes. “Not only does our firm’s “Adopt-A-Landmark” program provide necessary support for a Pittsburgh-area landmark, but it’s a service project that encourages teamwork and civic involvement by our employees.”

Thank you, Kevin! Perhaps the best outcome of a day of service such as HDG’s – and volunteerism in general – is that it builds relationships. Three HDG employees returned to work on subsequent mosaic mural workshops.

The “Adopt-A-Landmark” title belongs to HDG. I hope the slight variation of Adopt OUR Landmark will be okay with Kevin Hayes. The model of work, church, neighborhood, youth or civic groups coming together to help out the Library & Music Hall is a terrific one. With a little lead-time, we can come up with activities that are necessary to the ACFL&MH, but also engaging for your group. Give us a call.

Remember, though, individual volunteers are always welcome! We have so many opportunities ranging from book processing to administrative work to gardening to ushering at performances to volunteering in the Espy Post to special talents and interests that you can share with ACFL&MH patrons. These can be a onetime experience or an ongoing commitment.

It’s a truism: one thing leads to another. Chuck Edeburn has been an Espy Post docent for several years. His involvement with the ACFL&MH has grown into a family affair. While she was in high school, Chuck’s daughter Bailey (in period dress) joined him for Saturday afternoon stints in the Espy Post. Chuck frequently volunteers to staff the Post during special ACFL&MH events such as our recent 117th anniversary concert with C Street Brass. Denise Edeburn usually joins her husband for the special programs.

I was delighted when Chuck and Denise decided to come to a mosaic workshop in April. I think all three of us were surprised that they attended eight of the remaining 14 workshops.  While en route to a Civil War show in Mansfield, OH, the Edeburn’s car broke down. They were on their way home in a rental car, but ended up coming to the May 5 Mosaic Workshop anyway. When Bailey returned home from college for the summer, she joined her parents at Sunday afternoon workshops. On June 14, the Edeburn’s older daughter Rachel was visiting from York. The family had a tailgate picnic in our parking lot before coming to the 14th and final mosaic workshop. I wish I had taken a picture of that….Shades of Library Park to come!

So too was walking out of the ACFL&MH an hour and a half after the final workshop ended to find Laura Lenk and Becky Shafer sitting on the Music Hall steps, extending the”ladies night out” with friendship and conversation. Library Park’s Phase I landscaping and lighting make the ACFL&MH so more inviting than it used to be.

We’ve had a couple of setbacks, but we break ground on Phase II in a few weeks. I can only imagine the vibrancy the completed Library Park will bring to the ACFL&MH and its community.

Reprinted with permission – The Signal Item and Trib Total Media, LLC.


The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall opened in 1901. It is one of only four libraries in the country (three remaining) that Andrew Carnegie endowed. The ACFL&MH is Mr. Carnegie’s enduring thank you gift to the town that incorporated and took his name in 1901.  Visit for additional information.

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