Fauntleroy Station, The Seattle Public Library, opens on March 8, 1945.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 9/16/2002
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3956
On March 8, 1945, The Seattle Public Library opens Fauntleroy Station at 4505 Wildwood Place SW to serve residents of southwest Seattle. World War II brings tens of thousands of new residents to West Seattle to work in shipyards and at Boeing, but the only library serving that part of the city is the West Seattle Branch. Fauntleroy Station will become a fixture in the community until 1961 when the Southwest Branch is opened.

Fauntleroy Station was open Monday and Thursday afternoons and it was an immediate hit with users. Library services were so popular that residents petitioned for a bookmobile to supplement the station. By 1957, the station was circulating 36,815 books a year, an average of more than 350 books a day.

The Southwest Branch was constructed in 1961 at 35th Avenue SW and SW Henderson Street with monies from a 1956 bond issue. Even though the new branch was larger and better and just 10 blocks distant, Fauntleroy loyalists asked the library board to keep it open. They objected to the hill between there and the new library and the lack of public transportation between the locations. The patrons stressed the importance the station occupied in the community.

The station closed in July 1961 and the books went to the Southwest Branch.

Sources: "Fauntleroy Station -- Miscellaneous Papers," folder, archives, The Seattle Public Library; "Fauntleroy Station -- Annual Reports," archives, The Seattle Public Library. 

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