The expanded Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., opened Oct. 22, 2005. It was the 17th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. (See the Lake City Branch Construction Fact Sheet.) It is part of a municipal center that also includes a neighborhood service center, park and parking garage.
The $3.9 million branch has an updated collection and the capacity to hold 66,700 books and materials. Collection highlights include a significant number of materials for people learning English as a Second Language and many new items for teens.
The branch recently expanded its collection of books, videos and music in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian. Bilingual staff are available to answer questions and help patrons.
The larger branch has a spacious children's area, a separate area for teens, self-checkout stations, 33 computers (up from 15), more seats, a meeting room, a small study room, and upgraded technology. A quiet room that looks out on the entry courtyard provides an alternative to the activity of the main reading room.
The building was designed by ARC Architects and built by Bayley Construction.
The architects designed the building to create a civic presence, preserving the grand entrance courtyard and the bronze gates by renowned Seattle artist and sculptor George Tsutakawa. The brick and metal-clad exterior echoes the brick used in the original structure, which the city's Landmarks Preservation Board named a landmark building.
Remodeling the interior exposed the rich brick walls of the original building, which had been covered by shelving.
The building includes artwork by Portland artist Linda Haworth, who created 71 cast glass panels using hand-carved molds of objects that represent the theme "Collections." Haworth and local artist Jane Grafton held a community workshop and asked patrons to bring in the objects they collected, which inspired the finished work. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program.
The Rotary Club of Lake City commissioned Grafton to create a series of recycled tin pennants for the branch. The flags feature a no-longer-used alphabet called the Ogham Alphabet; each symbol represents not only a letter but also a particular type of tree, and a corresponding visual representation of that given tree. Grafton invited school-age children to a series of workshops to create the banners, which helped them gain a greater understanding pf recycled materials.
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