The Montlake Branch of The Seattle Public Library has:
The new Montlake Branch at 2401 24th Ave. E. opened Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006. The branch is the 19th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. (See the Montlake Branch Building Facts for more information.)
The building was designed by Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers and built by Graham Contracting Ltd.
The architects designed the contemporary brick and cedar-clad branch to relate to the adjacent commercial structures and residences in the area. A vertical glass entry on 24th Avenue East creates a strong civic presence and an entry plaza provides an outdoor gathering space for patrons.
Patrons inside the branch can overlook two landscaped viewing gardens on the west side of the building.
Spaces named for donors include: Don G. and Jane Markham Abel Meeting Room; Luke and Annalee Pigott Children's Area; and the Betty Bennett Simpson Reading Area. (See Donors to the Montlake Branch: Named Spaces for more information.)
Seattle artist Rebecca Cummins created an aperture skylight sundial for the new building. Five circular openings in the ceiling covered by glass discs project a series of colorful spotlights that move through the library throughout the day, as the sun appears to move across the sky. Markings on the floor indicate the position of solar noon from the spring to autumn equinox.
Two other pieces from the Library's artwork collection also are on display in the branch - a painting called "Delphic Theme III" by Boyer Gonzales and a color woodcut print called "Tea House" by Hodaka Yoshida.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program.
See Art at the Montlake Branch for more information.
Public library service in Montlake dates back to September 1944, when The Seattle Public Library teamed up with the Montlake Community Club to open a small library to serve the area.
The community club raised money and leased a former grocery store on what is now 24th Avenue East, and the Library provided a librarian and books. The Library assumed financial responsibility for the space in 1947.
In 1979, the library moved into the adjacent 1,574-square-foot space formerly occupied by a drug store. In 1991, the branch closed for 21/2 years while the building owner upgraded the structure, during which time a bookmobile served the neighborhood.
LIBRARIES FOR ALL CAPITAL PROJECTS AND THE MONTLAKE 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 replacing the small space in Montlake with a full-sized branch.
The Library bought property at the northwest corner of 24th Avenue East and East McGraw Street for the new branch. Construction began in August 2005. The branch opened Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006.