History

Serving Greenwood since 1928

On May 16, 1928, the Greenwood-Phinney Branch Library opened 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. Rent was $45 a month for the storefront that housed the Greenwood-Phinney Branch.

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. The branch opened on Jan. 20, 1954 - the first new Library building in 33 years.

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Architecture

Made with materials from near and far

Exterior view at the Greenwood Branch
Exterior view at the Greenwood Branch

The new Greenwood Branch was the 13th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program. 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.

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Art

A journey in glass

Artwork by Fernanda D'Agostino and Valerie Otani at the Greenwood Branch
Artwork by Fernanda D'Agostino and Valerie Otani at the Greenwood Branch

Portland artists Fernanda D'Agostino and Valerie Otani collaborated to design complex images and text embedded in three glass windows. Most of the images are based on Greenwood Branch patrons who posed as models. 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.

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Named Spaces

Friends of The Seattle Public Library Meeting Room

For 65 years the Friends of The Seattle Public Library has been a grassroots volunteer organization that has supported the Library as an essential institution in society.