After serving in the War of 1812, Colonel James Anderson became a pioneer in iron manufacturing. In the 1850s, he opened his book collection to the young people of Allegheny City, which is known today as the northside. Carnegie, who lived in this neighborhood, benefited from Anderson’s generosity, and it inspired him to create free libraries around the world.
Carnegie chose sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon, who also worked together on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The main architectural feature of this monument is the exedra, a curved outdoor bench, which encompasses two colomns for bronze sculptures. The bust of Colonel Anderson is placed on top of the column, above the seated figure, Labor Reading. The work was dedicated with great fanfare on June 15, 1904.
This monument was located at the northeast corner of Federal and East Ohio Streets until the 1960s, when the Urban Redevelopment Authority created Allegheny Center. During the project, the memorial was dismantled. In 1984, a restoration campaign was initiated by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. What is seen today is a replica of the original memorial that faced the library. The sculptures are original.
Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) was a prominent American sculptor. He is most well known for sculpting the Abraham Lincoln statue for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Henry Bacon, Architect