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Library News Release

Release Date: 06/09/2004

Expanded North East Branch opens June 26

The Seattle Public Library's North East Branch, 6801 35th Ave. N.E., which has been closed for construction of an addition, will reopen at noon Saturday, June 26. The reopening celebration, which continues until 6 p.m., is made possible by premier sponsor Starbucks Coffee, signature sponsor Safeco Insurance and The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

The North East Branch expansion is the 10th project completed through the 1998 voter-approved building program. The architect was The Miller/Hull Partnership and Graham Contracting Ltd. was the contractor. Heather Dew Oaksen designed artwork for the building.

Program schedule
The dedication ceremony will begin at noon with City Librarian Deborah L. Jacobs, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, Library Board Trustee Eric Liu, City Council President Jan Drago, representatives from the Friends of The Seattle Public Library, the Library book fairy "Lulu" and the "Les Femmes d'Enfer" Cajun band.

A series of programs titled "Exploring the Architecture and Art of the North East Branch" will follow the ceremony from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the meeting room. The schedule of programs is outlined below. In addition, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. inside the branch, Concordia Kindertanzgruppe, a dance group from Concordia Lutheran School in Wedgwood, will perform traditional German dances. There also will be craft projects in the children's area from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

"Exploring the Architecture and Art of the North East Branch"

  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Jodee Fenton, manager of The Seattle Public Library's Seattle Collection, will discuss the history of the North East Branch. The branch was designed by prominent Seattle architect Paul Thiry in 1954. The award-winning building was designated a landmark by the Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board in 2001. The North East Branch is the most heavily used branch in The Seattle Public Library system.
  • 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. - Architect Scott Wolf of The Miller/Hull Partnership will talk about the firm's design of the 7,958 square foot expansion to the historically significant building, creating an attractive linkage between the original building and addition.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Oaksen, a Captiol Hill multimedia artist, will give an overview of the video art project she designed for the branch. The art features a set of video projections that move slowly across three Plexiglass screens inside the branch.
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Seattle Poet Mercedes Lawry will read a variety of poetry in a program titled, "The Wonderful Library: A Literary Sampling."


About the building
The $4.7 million addition more than doubled the building's size from 7,042 square feet to 15,000 square feet. The North East Branch has more seating, new computer work stations and instructional areas, a meeting room, better lighting, upgraded technology services and equipment, new carpeting, better seismic safety, more parking, energy-efficient windows and an updated collection of books and materials.

Libraries for All
In 1998, Seattle voters approved a $196.4 million bond measure to fund improvements to all 22 existing branches, build new branches in underserved areas and construct a new Central Library. There are currently 14 active building projects under way. For more information about the building program, visit www.spl.org.

For more information about the opening event, call 206-386-4636.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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