Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA


Hunt Library is one of a few mid-century buildings on Carnegie Mellon’s campus, dating from 1960. The majority of buildings were built earlier or just recently. The architects were Lawrie and Green; the firm was formed in 1922 and closed in 1972. They designed many buildings throughout Pennsylvania, especially in Harrisburg where they were based.


A great focal point to the library is the cantilevered entrance canopy–one side features the names of the library donors, Mr. and Mrs. Roy A. Hunt, and the other side features the name of one of the library’s special collections and the primary reason for its construction, the Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt Botanical Library. According to the Carnegie Mellon library website, the Hunt family gave the funds for this new library in 1958 and stipulated that Mrs. Hunt’s collection of books on botany be housed in the new building.


The rest of the building is rather staid, although it was most likely quite a shock when built, as compared to the rest of the campus designed in yellow brick and limestone. The library’s exterior features metal fins forming a cage around the largely glass curtain wall. The building now has a dramatic exterior LED lighting scheme at night.

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1 Response to Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

  1. jroth95 says:

    Campus legend has it that the canopy was an afterthought, once it was determined that the doors were impossible to find. The other legend about the building is that, as Hunt’s fortune derived from Alcoa, everything possible was made of aluminum.

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