History

Serving Magnolia since 1943

Library service in Magnolia dates back to 1943 when residents raised money for a rental space. The Library provided books and part-time librarian help, and eventually took over the other expenses.

The Magnolia Bluff Station moved several times and became a full branch in the late 1940s, but still needed a permanent location.

In 1956, Seattle voters passed a $5 million bond issue to replace the Central Library and to use leftover money to build new branches, including in Magnolia. The branch opened July 17, 1964.

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Architecture

Local influences indoors and out

Exterior view of the Magnolia Branch
Exterior view of the Magnolia Branch

The Magnolia Branch is the last of the 27 projects completed under the "Libraries for All" building program.

Noted Seattle architect Paul Hayden Kirk designed the Magnolia Branch. The expansion was built by Graham Contracting Ltd. and designed by Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss Architects.

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Art

“Catch + Release” by artist Kristin Tollefson

Artwork by Kristin Tollefson at the Montlake Branch
Artwork by Kristin Tollefson at the Montlake Branch

Bainbridge Island artist Kristin Tollefson designed a pair of site-specific sculptures called "Catch + Release" for the building - a branch suspended from the meeting room above the south window and a basket outside the south window. In addition, artwork on display in the original building is now back in the expanded branch.

Named Spaces

Spaces named for donors include:

Dean and Mary Thornton Children's Area and Jim Thixton and Carol Bennett Thixton Meeting Room

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