Magnolia Branch History
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.
Magnolia Branch 2008 Renovation and Expansion
Designed by architect Paul Hayden Kirk, the branch won national recognition after it opened in 1964. Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board has designated it as a landmark building.
The renovated and expanded branch now has:
- updated book collection
- upgraded technology services and equipment
- better electrical, communication and computer connections
- more efficient circulation desk and work areas
- improved ventilation
- energy-efficient window glass
- a meeting room
- a study room
- Project type: Renovate and expand existing branch
- Completion date: 2008
- Budget for capital costs: $4.3 million (includes Opportunity Fund allocations.)
- Total library program area: 7,799 square feet (formerly 6,356 square feet)
- Computers: 19 (formerly 11)
- Artist: Kristin Tollefson
- Art budget: $22,715
- Library Board steward: Michael Parham
- Architect: Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss Architects
- Contractor: Graham Contracting Ltd.
- July 2008: The renovated and expanded Magnolia Branch of The Seattle Public Library reopened Saturday, July 12.
- May 2007: The Seattle Public Library board of trustees selected Bainbridge Island artist Kristin Tollefson to design artwork for the branch renovation and expansion. Earlier in the month, construction began on the project.
- March 2007: The Magnolia Branch closed Saturday, March 24 to prepare for renovation and expansion.
- February 2007: Construction bids for the expansion and renovation project came in higher than expected. The Library Board directed staff to move toward awarding the construction contract to the sole bidder with the understanding the contractor would work with its subcontractors and the architects to lower costs.
- December 2006: Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board issued the Certificate of Approval for the renovation and expansion of the branch.
- September 2006: Residents attended a meeting to see the design of the renovation and expansion of the branch.
- June 2006: Residents attended a meeting to see progress on the design of the branch renovation and expansion.
- July 2005: Residents attended a "hopes and dreams" meeting to share ideas on design, services and programs, collections, and artwork for the branch. A study presented at the meeting showed it was feasible to expand the branch. Architects studied a 1,200-square-foot addition, but the design process will determine the actual size of the expansion.
- September 2004: The Seattle Public Library board of trustees selected Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss Architects to design the renovation and investigate the expansion of the branch. An advisory panel that included Magnolia residents evaluated proposals and interviewed architect finalists. Earlier in the month, residents met architect finalists at a public reception.
- June 2004: Eighteen architects answered the Library's call for architects to design the renovation and investigate the expansion of the branch.
- March 2001: The landmarks board voted to designate the branch as a landmark building. The Library worked with the landmarks board to preserve the architectural character of the library.
- September 2000: The Library Board voted to set aside $1.62 million for an approximate 1,800-square-foot addition to the existing branch.
- August 2000: The Library's Citizen Implementation Review Panel (CIRP) recommended that the Library Board reserve $1.6 million of the $6 million Opportunity Fund for an approximate 1,800-square-foot addition to the Magnolia Branch.
- April 2000: The Magnolia Community Club proposed using a portion of the Opportunity Fund to add a 1,835-square-foot addition to the existing branch to house a meeting room, an adult reading room, a computer area, and a new staff room.