Queen Anne Branch : About the Branch

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Construction impacts begin April 2, 2018

Several construction projects at the Queen Anne Branch this spring and summer will temporarily affect parking, services, ADA access and open hours. More ...

About the Queen Anne Branch

The Queen Anne Branch of The Seattle Public Library has:




The renovated Queen Anne Branch reopened Aug. 25, 2007. It was the 23rd project completed under the 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" building program. (See the Queen Anne Branch Building Fact Sheet for more information.)


The renovation was designed by Hoshide Williams Architects and built by Biwell Construction Inc.


Spaces named for donors include: Linda Larson and Gerry Johnson Family Reading Area; Lois and Nelson Anderson & Anne Anderson Questad Children's Area; and the Stuart H. Prestrud Meeting Room. (See Donors to the Queen Anne Branch: Named Spaces for more information.)


Seattle artist Dennis Evans created two painted mixed-media works for the branch that are part of a series for five of the Library's Carnegie branches. All the pieces reflect classical liberal arts themes. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program.


"Quintet in D," stained glass windows that artist Richard Spaulding created for the branch in 1977, remains in place in the central reading room.



In 1911, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $70,000 to build two branch libraries in Seattle; one of them was in Queen Anne, which at the time was a rapidly growing residential neighborhood.


After a lengthy community tussle about the best spot to locate the branch, the present site at Fourth Avenue West and West Garfield Street was selected in 1912. Col. Alden Blethen, Queen Anne resident and owner of The Seattle Times, contributed $500 toward the site; the city paid the balance of $6,700.


The two-level branch was designed by W. Marbury Somervell and Harlan Thomas and cost $32,667 to build. It opened on New Year's Day in 1914.


The building followed one of Andrew Carnegie's preferred designs for libraries - main-floor reading areas and a lower-level auditorium. Its general architectural style is Late Tudor Revival.


Tall ceilings, expansive leaded glass windows, and hanging lamps contribute to a sense of spaciousness. Rich detailing and use of golden oak throughout the interior add to the warm, historic feel of the branch.


Over the years, circulation at the branch followed a familiar pattern, rising during periods of unemployment and falling during wartime. The lower-level auditorium was an important meeting place for community groups, patriotic organizations and special interest groups such as the Earwig Club, which was dedicated to eradicating the insect.


The historic branch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been named a landmark building by Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board.



The branch was upgraded several times but needed updating in 1998 when 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 renovating the Queen Anne Branch.


Construction began in January 2007. The renovated branch reopened Aug. 25, 2007.

Safe Place

Queen Anne Branch
400 W. Garfield St.
Seattle, WA 98119



1 pm - 8 pm


1 pm - 8 pm


11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm




11 am - 6 pm


1 pm - 5 pm

Regional Manager:
Kip Roberson

Nearest branches open every day:

Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences