Lake City Branch 2018 Improvements

The Lake City Branch will reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, after being closed for eight months for improvements.

The branch was closed from May 7, 2018 until Jan. 2, 2019 for improvements that support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries and make the branch a more enjoyable space to read, study and collaborate.

The changes were designed to make it easier for people to interact with one another, create flexible, open, welcoming spaces and improve access to technology.

The renovation added about 1,600 square feet of public space to the branch by opening up the entrance and corridor and created flexible spaces for children, teens and adults. The public computers were moved to be closer to the service desk, and the addition of movable walls makes the meeting spaces in the branch more flexible. Patrons also will see more comfortable seating and more outlets to charge devices.

A public celebration with refreshments and entertainment is being planned for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.

Originally built in 1965, the Lake City Branch was expanded as part of the 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" bond measure that renewed and revitalized libraries across the city.

The expanded building, which opened in October 2005, served the community well and there is now a strong demand for collaborative space, basic computer instruction and staff help with technology in general. The branch also has the busiest Homework Help program in the system.

The changes are part of Turner's vision for the Library to "re-imagine" its spaces and find innovative, creative solutions to meet the public’s changing needs and interests.

The $3.2 million budget included funds from the 2012 voter-approved Library levy, the real estate excise tax, a Library gift fund, and a targeted fundraising campaign by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

The Library gives everyone the opportunity to learn and excel and promised to protect the public’s investment in its buildings as part of the levy. The Lake City Branch improvements are part of the Library’s commitment to keeping its buildings well-maintained, clean and comfortable for patrons.

Patrons who picked up their holds at another branch during the closure should talk with a staff member if they need help to restore their holds pickup location to the Lake City Branch. 


  • Added about 1,600 square feet of public space by opening up the entrance and corridor
  • Reconfigured the interior layout to create flexible spaces for children, teens and adults
  • Lowered shelving height to improve visibility and make the space feel more welcoming
  • Added more outlets to charge devices
  • Relocated the public computers closer to the service desk
  • Added movable walls to increase flexibility of meeting space
  • Added soft seating
  • Added a laptop bar in the teen area
  • Added a laptop bar at the main entrance
  • Consolidated service desks to make it easier for patrons to know where to get help and to free up space for other Library purposes
  • Added eight laptops and two iPads that patrons can borrow to use inside the branch
  • Relocated the artwork
  • Installed new acoustical ceilings
  • Improved finishes for easier maintenance
  • Recarpeted

Design Images    Work in progress


Key dates:

  • Oct. 23, 2017: Open house to describe improvements
  • April 27, 2018: Holds pickup location changes to the Northgate Branch unless you have selected an alternate branch
  • May 6, 2018: Last day to check out or return materials at the Lake City Branch
  • May 7, 2018: Lake City Branch closes for renovations
  • Jan. 2, 2019: Renovated Lake City Branch reopens
  • Jan. 12, 2019: Public celebration

Lake City Branch 2005 expansion

The expanded branch is part of a municipal center that also includes a neighborhood service center, the Albert Davis Park and a parking garage.

The expanded branch now has:

  • updated collection capacity of 66,700 books and materials
  • more seats
  • a meeting room
  • upgraded technology


Quick facts

  • Project type: Expand existing branch
  • Completion date: 2005
  • Budget for capital costs: $3.9 million
  • Total library program area: 15,300 square feet (formerly 9,013 square feet)
  • Computers: 33 (formerly 15)
  • Artists: Linda Haworth, Jane Grafton
  • Art budget: $33,957
  • Library Board steward: Eric Liu
  • Architect: ARC Architects
  • Contractor: Bayley Construction


  • October 2005: The expanded Lake City Branch of The Seattle Public Library reopened on Oct. 22.
  • March 2004: Construction began on the branch expansion.
  • Feb. 15, 2004: The branch closed so construction could begin on its expansion project.
  • August 2003: Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board awarded the final Certificate of Approval for the branch expansion.
  • February 2003: Residents attended an open house to view the design of the branch expansion.
  • July 2002: Residents attended an open house to view early designs of the branch expansion.
  • August 2001: Tin and collage artist Jane Grafton, a Lake City-area resident for 14 years, was chosen to help create artwork for the expansion. Grafton was the first community artist chosen under the innovative Art Partners program, which pairs an experienced artist with a community artist who has limited experience with public art.
  • June 2001: The Landmarks Preservation Board voted to designate the Lake City Branch as a landmark building. The Library worked with the landmarks board to preserve the architectural character of the library.
  • March 2001: Residents attended a "hopes and dreams" meeting to share ideas on services, collections, programs and artwork for the expanded branch.
  • January 2001: The city of Seattle developed a master plan for the library, neighborhood service center, Albert Davis Park, community center and parking garage.
  • September 2000: The Seattle Public Library board of trustees selected Portland artist Linda Haworth to design artwork for the expansion. An advisory panel interviewed three artists and recommended Haworth for the job.
  • May 2000: The Library Board selected ARC Architects to design the branch expansion. An advisory panel that included Lake City residents evaluated proposals and interviewed architect finalists. Earlier in the month, residents met architect finalists at a reception.