Seattle Public Library - Green Lake Branch

7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N.
Seattle, WA 98115

206-684-7547

HISTORY

Library service in Green Lake dates back to 1905, when The Seattle Public Library opened a small, one-room structure on the east side of the lake, several blocks south of the present building.

The structure was built on a wooden platform. A board sidewalk led from the street and the streetcar tracks to the library. In rainy weather, the tiny building was surrounded by mud and water and young boys begged the librarian for twine so they could fish over the railing.

In 1908, wealthy philanthropist Andrew Carnegie agreed to donate $35,000 to build a replacement branch. Local residents rallied to the cause and raised $3,000 to buy the current branch site; the city contributed another $1,000.

The branch, which was designed by W. Marbury Somervell and Joseph S. Coté, opened in July 1910 at a cost of $37,749.90.

The T-shaped building followed one of Carnegie's preferred designs for libraries - main-floor reading areas and a lower- level auditorium. Wings on either side of the front of the building feature two sets of huge operable vertical windows that allow natural light and fresh air to pour into the building.

Tall ceilings contribute to a sense of spaciousness and rich detailing and use of wood throughout the interior adds to the warm, historic feel of the branch.

Over the years, the branch was remodeled several times, including one project in 1969 that for several years turned the lower-level auditorium into the headquarters for the Mobile Branch.

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