The Fremont Branch of The Seattle Public Library has:
The renovated Fremont Branch, 731 N. 35th St., opened April 16, 2005. It was the 14th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. (See the Fremont Branch Building Facts for more information.)
The Library coordinated the renovation with Seattle Parks and Recreation to add a wheelchair ramp that leads from an adjacent park to the branch's lower-level meeting room.
The renovations, which were designed by Hoshide Williams Architects and built by Biwell Construction Inc., respect the historic character of the branch while improving its efficiency.
The architectural style of the branch is Mission Revival. Features of this style include the use of gable and hip roofs, clay roof tiles and stucco cladding, ornamental metal and arched openings.
The renovation of the reading room preserved the original exposed heavy timber trusses and plastered walls, and restored the central shelving to its original lower height to allow more light to enter from the east and west windows.
Seattle artist Dennis Evans created two painted mixed-media works for the branch that are part of a series of artwork for five of the Library's Carnegie branches. All the pieces reflect classical liberal arts themes. Each branch will have a permanent reference painting and each will have a painting designed to circulate among the branches.
Library service in Fremont dates back to 1902, when The Seattle Public Library took over the Fremont Reading Room Association and provided service to the community in rented quarters. Library service was upgraded to branch status in 1903, but residents were determined to find the library a permanent home.
In 1917, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $35,000 to build a library in Fremont, but budget issues and World War I delayed the project. The site cost $10,000, most of which was raised by the local Business Men's Club and Fremont residents who held rummage sales, dances, card parties and street fairs.
The new, two-level branch, which was designed by city architect Daniel R. Huntington, opened July 27, 1921. The historic branch has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named a landmark building by Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board.
Over the years, the branch was remodeled several times, including work in 1945 that converted part of the lower level to accommodate material for the Library for the Blind.
Libraries for All and the Fremont Branch
In 1998, voters approved the $196.4 million "Libraries for All" (LFA) bond measure and The Seattle Public Library Foundation pledged to contribute privately raised money to improve the Library system. The plan included renovating the Fremont Branch.