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Library News Release

Release Date: 03/09/2004

Renovated West Seattle Branch opens April 3

The Seattle Public Library's historic West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. S.W., which has been under renovation, will reopen to the public at noon Saturday, April 3.

This is the seventh project completed under The Seattle Public Library's 1998 voter-approved building program. The architect was Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss and W. G. Clark Construction Co. was the contractor.

Public officials, authors, community performers and representatives of the Friends of The Seattle Public Library will participate in the branch reopening celebration. All programs are free and everyone is welcome. The activities are made possible by premier sponsor Starbucks, and The Seattle Public Library Foundation. The nearby Admiral Parking Garage will offer free parking from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the event.

Program schedule
The dedication ceremony will begin at noon with City Librarian Deborah L. Jacobs, Library Board Trustee Linda Larson, Mayor Greg Nickels, City Council President Jan Drago, the Library book fairy "Lulu" and the "Les Femmes d'Enfer" Cajun band.

Following the ceremony, a variety of authors will read in the community room.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 12:30 p.m. - Andrea Helman, author or "O is for Orca" and "Northwest Animal Babies"
  • 1:30 p.m. -Kathryn True and Maria Dolan, co-authors of "Nature in the City: Seattle."


About the building
The $2.2 million renovation included converting a portion of the basement into a meeting room, providing more electrical and computer connections, upgrading the building's technology, creating a more efficient circulation desk and work areas, new furniture, better lighting and acoustics and an updated collection. The project was designed and reviewed with the oversight of Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board. The West Seattle Branch is a landmark building.

The 94-year-old West Seattle Branch is one of Seattle's three original Carnegie-funded branch libraries designed by W. Marbury Somervell and Joseph S. Cote. It has the distinction of being the first permanent community library opened by The Seattle Public Library. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave Seattle $35,000 to build the branch library in 1908, after West Seattle developer and former West Seattle City Councilman Uriah R. Niesz and other residents donated several lots in the Admiral District on the plateau at the corner of College Street West (later Southwest College Street) and 42nd Avenue Southwest.

Libraries for All
In 1998, Seattle voters approved a $196.4 million bond measure to fund improvements to all 22 existing branches, build new branches in underserved areas and construct a new Central Library. There are currently 17 active building projects under way. For more information about the building program, visit www.spl.org.

For more information about the opening event, call 206-386-4636.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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