Greenwood Branch : About the Branch

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About the Greenwood Branch

The Greenwood Branch of The Seattle Public Library has:



The new Greenwood Branch at 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. opened Jan. 29, 2005. It was the 13th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. (See the Greenwood Branch Building Facts for more information.)


The new building was designed by Buffalo Design and built by W.G. Clark Construction Co. The branch was designed to complement Greenwood's architecture and to stand out as a civic presence.


The building exterior is sided in 5-inch thick stone from Montana. A clerestory runs nearly the length of the building to allow north light to enter the branch. Windows along the east wall provide views of the Cascade Mountains.


A courtyard with a stone bench provides a welcoming space next to the main entrance. A wavy copper-accented screen wall divides the children's area from the entryway. 


The wood on the tabletops in the center of the library all came from the same tree - an American red elm salvaged from Carnation, Wash. The tables were crafted by Seattle-based Urban Hardwoods, which manufactures products from trees that are diseased or blocking power lines and must be taken down.


The green material used on the interior of the building is called Trespa Meteon. The strong resin-based material, which is manufactured in Germany, is weather-resistant, color-fast and easy to clean.


Portland artists Fernanda D'Agostino and Valerie Otani collaborated to create the artwork - complex images and text embedded in three glass windows. The windows are installed in the meeting room facing Greenwood Avenue North, along the east wall that faces the Cascades and in the quiet room in the southeast corner of the building.


Most of the images are based on Greenwood Branch patrons who posed as models. The historic texts, maps, rare books and cuneiform tablets seen in the windows are based on material in the collections of several libraries, including The Seattle Public Library.


See Art at the Greenwood Branch for more information.



Branch library service in Greenwood dates back to May 16, 1928, when the Greenwood-Phinney Branch Library opened at 7020 Greenwood Ave., thanks to the efforts of the Greenwood-Phinney Commercial Club and parent-teacher groups.


The club responded to an offer from the Library Board to operate a branch if the community paid for rent, utilities and janitorial service. A total of $340.80 was raised in a campaign led by Edith Marston of the Greenwood Parent Teachers Association.


Rent was $45 a month for the nearly 1,000-square-foot storefront, which housed 3,000 books when it opened. In the first two days of operation 240 people registered for Library cards.


Its popularity led to an expansion in 1932, which almost doubled the space. A second remodel occurred in 1939.


Bond issues for new libraries failed in 1950 and 1952, but the City Council added $492,000 to the 1953 budget to buy a new bookmobile and build three branches, including the Greenwood Branch.


A new branch at 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. opened on Jan. 20, 1954 - the first new Library building in 33 years.


Libraries for All capital projects and the Greenwood Branch

In 1998, voters approved a $196.4 million 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 Greenwood Branch.


The Library bought a house next to the old branch and demolished them both to make room for the larger branch. Construction began in December 2003. The new branch opened Jan. 29, 2005.

Safe Place

Greenwood Branch
8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103



10 am - 8 pm


10 am - 8 pm


10 am - 8 pm


10 am - 8 pm


10 am - 6 pm


10 am - 6 pm


1 pm - 5 pm

Regional Manager:
Darth Nielsen

Contact Person:
Ask A Librarian

Tel: 206-386-4636

Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences