Sunday, 20 September 2015

Generosity Personified

Statue of Andrew Carnegie
    Dunfermline and Pittsburgh are linked in today's blog post once again. Seventy-seven years after the death of Brigadier Colonel John Forbes, featured in September 13th blog, in a modest home in Dunfermline, Andrew Carnegie was born.

View from the statue towards Dunfermline, High Street
    Carnegie famous for Pittsburgh Steel and philanthropy left Scotland with his family at the age of thirteen years. Similar to Scot's poet and author, Robert Burns, Carnegie's parent's encouraged him to read and although his schooling was somewhat limited, he gained his education through reading books.

Steps into the Glen, Pittencrief Park 
    He never forgot his roots and in 1883, Dunfermline is where the first of the approximately 2,600 libraries throughout the UK and US opened with funding from Carnegie.

Gardens of Pittencrief Park
    However, in my view one of the most generous gifts he gave to the town of his birthplace was the gift of Pittencrief Park. Having fond memories of sneaking in here to play as a child, Carnegie wanted this fantastic 76 acre estate to be a place that could be enjoyed by all.

    His purchase in 1902 meant that it was no longer under private ownership and whereas previous owners including the Forbes had restricted access, all the town's people could now take pleasure from the beauty of the site.

Gardens of Pittencrief Park

    His statue within the grounds, reminds the town's folk of his generosity and of course he can keep an eye on his old town.

Central Library, Edinburgh also funded by Carnegie

1 comment:

  1. I've been to a few of his libraries close by. They're beautiful.