NewHolly Branch, The Seattle Public Library, opens on November 20, 1999.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 10/09/2002
  • Essay 3988
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On November 20, 1999, the NewHolly Branch, The Seattle Public Library, opens on Beacon Hill. It is the first branch built under the "Libraries For All" bond issue. The $1 million building replaces a decrepit remnant of the Holly Park Housing Project built during World War II to house war workers. The new library is at 7058 32nd Avenue S at the entrance to the NewHolly development and will complement a family center next door.

The first library in Holly Park opened in 1943 for residents who were employed in war industries. After World War II, the branch served low-income families. The library moved twice into remodeled housing units designed as residences, not public buildings. Frequently, young readers were lined up outside the doors because there was no room inside.

In 1998, Seattle voters approved a $196.4 million bond issue to build new branch libraries and a new central library. ARC Architects designed the NewHolly Branch with a bowed roof, high windows, and 362,987 square feet to accommodate 12,000 books, tapes, and CDs, plus a meeting room. Computer terminals enabled users to link to the library catalog and to the Internet. Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) was on hand for the opening, along with the Garfield Jazz Band, the Van Asselt Elementary School Choir, and the Sonics Squatchmobile -- the Sonics' mascot (a primate with superior shooting skills) along with his transportation.


Tracy Johnson, "Brand-New Library Replaces A Dump," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 20, 1999, p. B-1; Marsha King, "Library Is Bigger and Better," The Seattle Times, November 21, 1999, p. B-1.

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