History

Serving Capitol Hill since 1954

The City Council funded the Susan J. Henry branch after library bond failures in 1950 and 1952. Property originally donated for the branch by the Henry family was unsuitable for the library. With permission from the Henry family, it was sold, and the proceeds used to purchase the library branch’s current site. Ground was broken in 1953 and the Susan J. Henry Branch opened in 1954.

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Architecture

An urban building

Interior view of climbing vines over vertical mesh screens at Capitol Hill Branch
Interior view of climbing vines over vertical mesh screens at Capitol Hill Branch

The new Capitol Hill Branch is the fourth project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program.

The building was designed by Johnston Architects and Cutler Architects and built by Summit Central Construction.

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Art

Climbing vines over vertical mesh screens

Interior view of climbing vines over vertical mesh screens at Capitol Hill Branch
Interior view of climbing vines over vertical mesh screens at Capitol Hill Branch

Merging art and architecture, Iole Alessandrini's "Contour" is a green, living wall over the entrance to the Capitol Hill Branch. Both evergreens and vines are supported on a stainless steel frame of mesh screens. The lattice wraps around the building and goes inside to frame the two-story reading room.

Named Spaces

Eulalie Bloedel Schneider Family Reading Area

Eulalie Bloedel Schneider returned to Seattle after living in Geneva, Switzerland for 40 years. Her interests include her children, friends, opera, and cultural and political events. She created a foundation to support economic self-sufficiency. On a personal level, the Reading Area echoes Schneider's celebration of quiet and reflection.