Greenwood Branch History
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.
Greenwood Branch 2017 improvements
After 12 years of use, the interior was improved to support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries. Patrons say they want quiet study spaces, areas where they can use electronic devices and work with others, and spaces where they can sit with their children to read or use technology.
We closed the Greenwood branch in early and mid-2017. The branch first closed Feb. 13 and reopened April 17. It was open for 10 weeks, then closed again on June 26 to install an exterior glass wall. The branch’s final reopening was July 5.
The changes made it easier for patrons to interact with one another. We created flexible, open spaces and improved access to technology.
- adding a laptop bar in the teen area
- combining service desks
- more seating
- adding power outlets to tables
- upgrading the meeting room and restrooms
- repositioning the public computers to reduce glare
- replacing the carpet
An indoor-outdoor boulder in the children's area was removed due to ongoing moisture problems and moved across the street to a parcel designated to become a community park. The exterior wall was temporarily covered with plywood. A permanent glass wall fabricated for the area was installed during the second phase of work.
We promised to protect the public's investment in its buildings as part of the 2012 voter-approved Library levy. The Greenwood Branch improvements are part of our commitment to keeping Library buildings well-maintained, clean and comfortable for you.
- Approximately $730,000
- Sources of funds
- 2012 Library levy
- Real Estate Excise Tax
- Library gift fund
People asked for:
- quiet study spaces
- areas where they can use a multitude of devices and collaborate with others
- spaces where they can sit with their children to read or use technology.
- Jan. 30, 2017: Open house to describe improvements
- Feb. 3, 2017: Holds pickup location changes to Broadview Branch or Ballard Branch unless patrons have selected a different branch
- Feb. 12, 2017: Last day to check out or return materials at the Greenwood Branch
- Feb. 13, 2017: Greenwood Branch closed
- February through April 2017: Afternoon book discussion group relocated to Ballard Branch. Evening book discussion group relocated to Broadview Branch
- Feb. 7 through April 18: Green Lake Branch hosts tax help sessions from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays
- Feb. 23 through March 30: Pop-up library and story time on Thursdays at Green Bean Cafe. Pop-up: 11 a.m. Story time: 11:30 a.m.
- Feb. 24 through April 7: Green Lake Branch open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays
- March 7: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss pop-up library, crafts, bookmobile at Phinney Neighborhood Association
- April 17, 2017: Refurbished Greenwood Branch reopens
- June 17, 2017: Holds temporarily suspended for the duration of the closure for the second phase of construction work
- June 24, 2017: Last day to pick up holds before closure
- June 26, 2017: Greenwood Branch closed for installation of custom glass
- July 5, 2017: Fully refurbished Greenwood Branch reopens
- July 15, 2017: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Reopening celebration with refreshments and entertainment
Greenwood Branch 2005 replacement
The former Greenwood Branch, which opened in 1954, had aged and needed replacing.
The new branch now has:
- expanded collection capacity of 66,700 books and materials
- a meeting room
- upgraded computers
- large areas for children and teens
- Project type: Replace existing branch
- Completion date: 2005
- Budget for capital costs: $6.9 million
- Total library program area: 15,000 square feet (formerly more than 7,000 square feet and an auditorium)
- Computers: 38 (formerly 9)
- Artists: Fernanda D'Agostino with design team collaboration by Valerie Otani.
- Art budget: $59,212
- Library Board steward: Gilbert W. Anderson
- Architect: Buffalo Design
- Contractor: W.G. Clark Construction Co.
- January 2005: The new Greenwood Branch of The Seattle Public Library opened at noon Saturday, Jan. 29.
- January 2004: Demolition completed of the former Greenwood Branch and an adjacent house.
- December 2003: Construction began on the new branch.
- Nov 1, 2003: The former Greenwood Branch closed so construction could begin on a new branch on the same site.
- November 2002: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed design development plans. Residents attended a meeting to see the branch design.
- June 2002: The Seattle Public Library board of trustees directed the architects to pursue a one-story design.
- May 2002: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed schematic design.
- February 2002: Residents attended a meeting to see designs for the new branch.
- December 2001: The Library bought a residential site from a willing seller east of the branch. Earlier in the month, residents attended an open house to review progress on the design.
- August 2001: The Library Board decided to build the new branch on the current library site at 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., rather than pursue mixed-use development options on its previously chosen site at North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North.
- July 2001: The Housing Resources Group and Greenwood Shopping Center Inc. presented co-location proposals to The Seattle Public Library board of trustees.
- March 2001: The Library directed the Housing Resources Group to study whether it was feasible to build housing and the new Greenwood Branch on the site for the new branch. The Greenwood Library Liaison Committee finished its work and submitted a report to the Library Board.
- January 2001: The Greenwood Library Liaison Committee was formed to provide additional community comment on the new branch.
- December 2000: Architects and Library staff showed residents the first images of the new branch at a meeting of the Greenwood Community Council.
- October 2000: Residents attended a "hopes and dreams" meeting to share their ideas on design, services and programs, collections and artwork.
- September 2000: The Library Board selected Portland artist Fernanda D'Agostino to design artwork for the new branch.
- June 2000: The Library Board voted to build the new branch on the site currently occupied by McDonald's at North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North.
- April 2000: The Library Board selected Buffalo Design to be the architects for the new branch. Earlier in the month, residents met architect finalists at a reception.
- March 2000: Residents discussed eight potential sites for the new branch at a second community meeting.
- January 2000: Residents discussed five sites at the first community meeting to talk about where to build the new branch. The Library added to the list three more sites that residents proposed.