The Ballard Branch of The Seattle Public Library has:
The new Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W., opened May 14, 2005. The $10.6 million branch was the 15th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. (See Ballard Branch Building Facts for more information.)
The building was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and built by PCL Construction Services Inc.
The roof sweeps north to bathe the interior with indirect light; a lower roof section provides an intimate scale for reading along the north wall. A covered porch area provides a civic face along the pedestrian corridor of 22nd Avenue Northwest.
A "green roof" is planted with more than 18,000 low-water-use plants. A periscope inside the branch gives people a view of the roof and the Olympic Mountains.
Artists Donald Fels, Andrew Schloss and Dale Stammen created the building's computer-generated artwork, which uses data from scientific devices on the roof that measure sunlight, the sound of rain, and wind speed and direction.
A complex computer program interprets the data and responds to climactic changes by triggering patterns of motion on LED (light-emitting diode) displays, as well as combinations of sounds. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program.
Spaces named for donors include: Helen G. Rosen Children's Area; Ian McKenzie Black Reading Area; Miriam Twitchell Alberg and Thomas A. Alberg Meeting Room. (See Donors to the Ballard Branch: Named Spaces for more information.)
After Ballard incorporated as a city, the Dewey Woman's Christian Temperance Union raised money to open a free reading room in 1901.
Ballard residents raised money and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $15,000 to build the Carnegie Free Public Library in 1904 on what is now Northwest Market Street. In 1907, when the city of Seattle annexed Ballard, the library became a branch of The Seattle Public Library.
In 1963, the cramped Carnegie branch was replaced with a new, 7,296-square-foot branch at 5711 24th Ave. N.W.
Libraries for All Capital Projects and the Ballard Branch
In 1998, voters approved the $196.4 million "Libraries for All" bond measure and The Seattle Public Library Foundation pledged to contribute privately raised money to improve the Library system. The plan included building a new 15,000-square-foot Ballard Branch.
The Library bought property at 22nd Avenue Northwest and Northwest 57th Street for the new branch. The city of Seattle also decided to locate a 3,100-square-foot Ballard Neighborhood Service Center in the same building.
Construction began in February 2004. The new branch and service center opened May 14, 2005.