Carnegie Building at Penn State

August 09, 2010

Carnegie Building

Home to the College of Communications, Carnegie Building originated as Penn State's first freestanding library, built with a $150,000 gift from philanthropist, steel magnate and Penn State Board of Trustees member Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).

Before the building's completion, the campus library was housed inside Old Main. Carnegie Library, as it was first known, was completed in 1904 and received an addition in 1921 and a renovation in 1940, after the library moved to its current site. By that time the structure was called Carnegie Hall. From 1942 to the early 1960s the building was used for office, studio and rehearsal space and instrument storage for Penn State music programs. (Interestingly, the Penn State Marching Blue Band was established as a drum and bugle corps largely with a gift from Andrew Carnegie.)

The School of Journalism first occupied Carnegie Hall in 1950. From 1972 to December 1989, The Daily Collegian student newspaper had headquarters in the building, according to an opinion column published as the staff prepared to move to its current downtown State College location, James Building. The Carnegie building underwent another renovation in 1990-91, and the School of Communications, established in 1986, took up residence following its completion. Accredited in 1994, the school became the College of Communications in 1995 and today is the largest nationally accredited program of its kind in the country, one of seven accredited programs in the Northeast.

The College is home to four departments: Advertising/Public Relations, Film-Video and Media Studies, Journalism and Telecommunications. The College offers five undergraduate majors, master’s degree programs in media studies and telecommunications studies and a doctoral degree program in mass communications with four distinct tracks.

In 2004 a documentary celebrating Carnegie Building's centennial was completed by Barbara Bird, associate professor of communications, and film students Taheerah Holston and Justin Herman. Watch it here.


photo album: Carnegie Building

Historical Marker images/information

College of Communications links

Carnegie Building centennial highlights

Campus Maps:,

  • To celebrate Carnegie Building's centennial, a College of Communications professor and two students created a 14-minute documentary of its history. Watch it here.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated June 08, 2011