Queen Anne Branch, The Seattle Public Library, reopens after renovations on August 25, 2007.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 12/17/2007
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 8424

On August 25, 2007, the Queen Anne Branch, The Seattle Public Library, reopens after a $853,523 renovation. It is the 23rd project completed as part of Libraries For All, a $196.4 million bond issue passed by Seattle voters in 1998.

The Queen Anne Branch, The Seattle Public Library, was built in 1913, and was the fourth of the Seattle Public Library branches built with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. After an acrimonious debate among neighborhood community groups over where to locate the building, a site was chosen at 4th Avenue W and W Garfield. The two-level branch was designed by W. Marbury Somervell (1872-1939) and Harlan Thomas.

Hoshide Williams Architects designed the 2007 renovation, which included improved ventilation, upgraded technology services and equipment, more electrical, communication, and computer connections, new and refinished historic seating, and more efficient circulation desk and work areas. The number of computers for the public more than doubled from eight to 20.

Both levels of the 7,931-square-foot branch were repainted and recarpeted. Outside, work around the building perimeter improved drainage, waterproofed the foundation, repaired and cleaned the retaining wall, and upgraded thelandscaping.

Seattle artist Dennis Evans created two mixed media painted works for the Wueen Anne Branch.  The art pieces, part of a series 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 eight months, beginning in January 2007.

Sources: Elizabeth Rhodes, “Past Still Present at Renovated Queen Anne Library,” The Seattle Times, August 26, 2007; “Queen Anne Library to Reopen with Fanfare,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 24, 2007; HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington History, “Queen Anne Branch, The Seattle Public Library,” (by David Wilma), http://www,historylink.org/ (accessed December 16, 2007); “About The Queen Anne Branch,” The Seattle Public Library website accessed December 16, 2007 (http://www.spl.org).

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