Lake City Branch : About the Branch

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Lake City Branch

About the Lake City Branch

The Lake City Branch of The Seattle Public Library has:




The expanded Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., opened Oct. 22, 2005. It was the 17th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. It is part of a municipal center that also includes a neighborhood service center, park and parking garage. (See the Lake City Branch Building Facts for more information.)


The building was designed by ARC Architects and built by Bayley Construction.


The architects designed the building to create a civic presence, preserving the grand entrance courtyard and the bronze gates by renowned Seattle artist and sculptor George Tsutakawa. The brick and metal-clad exterior echoes the brick used in the original structure, which the city's Landmarks Preservation Board named a landmark building.


Remodeling the interior exposed the rich brick walls of the original building, which had been covered by shelving.


The building includes artwork by Portland artist Linda Haworth, who created 71 cast glass panels using hand-carved molds of objects that represent the theme "Collections." Haworth and local artist Jane Grafton held a community workshop and asked patrons to bring in the objects they collected, which inspired the finished work. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program.


The Rotary Club of Lake City commissioned Grafton to create a series of recycled tin pennants for the branch. The flags feature a no-longer-used alphabet called the Ogham Alphabet; each symbol represents not only a letter but also a particular type of tree, and a corresponding visual representation of that given tree. Grafton invited school-age children to a series of workshops to create the banners, which helped them gain a greater understanding of recycled materials.



Library service in Lake City dates back to 1935 when a community group collected donated books and set up a small lending library in a school classroom. In 1944, the Lake City library became the second branch in the newly established King County Library System.


In 1954, the city of Seattle annexed the Lake City area. The Seattle Public Library took over the former King County branch and in 1955 moved operations to a bank building on Northeast 125th Street.


In 1965, the branch moved into its own 9,013-square-foot building at 12501 28th Ave. N.E., funded by part of a Library bond measure passed in 1956. Designed by John Morse and Associates, the award-winning branch featured distinctive arched windows and front gates designed by artist George Tsutakawa.



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 entire Library system. The plan included expanding the Lake City Branch.


Construction began in March 2004. The expanded branch reopened Oct. 22, 2005.

Safe Place

Lake City Branch
12501 28th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98125



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:
Francesca Wainwright

Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences