History

Serving Montlake since 1944

In September 1944, the Library teamed up with the Montlake Community Club to open a small library to serve the area.

The community club raised money and leased a former grocery store, while the Library provided a librarian and books. The Library assumed financial responsibility for the space in 1947.

In 1979, the library moved into the adjacent space formerly occupied by a drug store. In 1991, the branch closed for 2 1/2 years while the building owner upgraded the structure, during which time a bookmobile served the neighborhood.

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Architecture

A strong civic presence

Interior view of the vertical glass entry on 24th Avenue East
Interior view of the vertical glass entry on 24th Avenue East

The new Montlake Branch is the 19th project completed under the "Libraries for All" building program.

The building was designed by Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers and built by Graham Contracting Ltd.

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Art

Sundials, paintings and woodcut prints from multiple artists

Artwork by Rebecca Cummins at the Montlake Branch
Artwork by Rebecca Cummins at the Montlake Branch

Seattle artist Rebecca Cummins created "Skylight Aperture Sundial" for the new building. It has five circular openings in the ceiling covered by glass discs. They project a series of colorful spotlights that move through the library throughout the day, as the sun appears to move across the sky. Markings on the floor indicate the position of solar noon from the spring to autumn equinox.

Two other pieces from the Library's artwork collection also are on display in the branch - a painting called "Delphic Theme III" by Boyer Gonzales and a color woodcut print called "Tea House" by Hodaka Yoshida.

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Named Spaces

Spaces named for donors include:

Don G. and Jane Markham Abel Meeting Room; Luke and Annalee Pigott Children's Area; and the Betty Bennett Simpson Reading Area.

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