Daniel R. Huntington designed the Fremont Branch, located at 731 N 35th Street, in the Mission Revival style of architecture. It was built with funds donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and it opened in 1921. The Fremont Branch was the last Carnegie-funded branch built by The Seattle Public Library. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was named a landmark building by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. It was remodeled several times over the years.
Hoshide Williams Architects designed the 2005 renovation. New features included an upgraded electrical system, a new boiler, an accessible restroom for the building’s lower level, more seating, more computers, improved ventilation, and conversion of an 800-square-foot storage area into a community meeting room. New lower wooden shelves increase collection capacity while remaining true to the building’s historic character and allowing light to enter through windows on the building’s west and east sides.
The Seattle Public Library coordinated renovation efforts on the building’s lower level with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. Ernst Park, which opened in 2004, was sited directly west of the Fremont Branch. An integral feature of the park was a winding ramp that ended at the lower level entrance to the library.
Seattle artist Dennis Evans created two mixed media painted works for the Fremont Branch. The art pieces, the first installations of a series planned for five of The Seattle Public Library’s Carnegie-funded branches (Fremont, Greenlake, University, Queen Anne, and West Seattle), were planned to reflect classic liberal arts themes.
The renovation project took 11 months, beginning in May 2004.