South Park Branch History
South Park residents began asking for a branch library in 1908. In July 1911 the Library opened a deposit station at the South Park Pharmacy. The station moved, closed and reopened several times until 1947, when service was taken over by a bookmobile.
After 1947, the Library provided bookmobile service to seniors, child care centers, the community center and people confined to their homes. But residents still wanted their own library branch, and in 2006 they finally got their wish. The South Park Library Steering Committee, a community group that provided input and advocacy, was a large part of this work.
South Park Branch 2019 Improvements
After 12 years of use, the South Park Branch needed to be closed for improvements that support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries and to make the branch a more enjoyable space to read, study and collaborate. We closed the branch from April 16, 2019 through June 10, 2019 to carry out this work.
The 5,019-square-foot South Park branch opened in September 2006, thanks to the 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" bond measure that renewed and revitalized libraries across the city. It is the first Library building in the South Park community.
After 12 years of use, the branch needs to be recarpeted and repainted inside. While the branch is closed for that work, the Library will also make additional improvements.
Interior improvements are based on branch usage and trends in Library services. The changes are part of Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner's vision for the Library to "re-imagine" its spaces in response to the changing needs of the community and our patrons.
- New carpet
- New interior paint
- More electrical outlets
- New furniture
- Modifications to the circulation desk
- Installation of mobile shelving and furniture to create collaborative spaces
- Repaint interior
- Add electrical outlets
- New furniture
- Modifications to the circulation desk
- Install mobile shelving and furniture
- Create collaborative spaces
We promised to protect the public's investment in its buildings as part of the 2012 voter-approved Library levy. The South Park Branch improvements are part of our commitment to keeping Library buildings well-maintained, clean and comfortable for you.
South Park Branch 2006 construction
This is the first library building in the South Park community.
The new branch has:
- collection capacity of 18,700 books and materials
- children’s area
- study room
- Project type: New branch library
- Completion date: 2006
- Budget for capital costs: $3 million
- Total library program area: 5,019 square feet
- Computers: 17
- Artist: Franklin Joyce
- Art budget: $11,000
- Library Board steward: Linda Larson
- Architect: Johnston Architects
- Contractor: Cope Construction Co.
- September 2006: The new South Park Branch of The Seattle Public Library opened Saturday, Sept. 9.
- July 2005: Construction began on the new branch.
- June 2005: The Library awarded the construction of the new branch to low bidder Cope Construction Co.
- April 2005: The Library began advertising for general contractor bids.
- June 2004: Residents attended a meeting to see the branch design.
- May 2004: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed design development plans.
- February 2004: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed the schematic design.
- December 2003: Demolition was completed of the vacant building on the site of the new branch. The Seattle Public Library board of trustees selected Seattle artist Franklin Joyce to create artwork for the branch. An advisory panel interviewed four artists and recommended Joyce for the job.
- September 2003: Residents attended a meeting to see the first images of the branch design.
- August 2003: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed early design concepts.
- May 2003: The Library Board voted to build the new branch at the southeast corner of South Cloverdale Street and Eighth Avenue South.
- November 2002: Residents attended a "hopes and dreams" meeting to share ideas on design, services and programs, collections and artwork.
- May 2002: The Library Board selected Johnston Architects to design the new branch. An advisory panel that included South Park residents evaluated proposals and interviewed architect finalists. Earlier in the month, residents met the finalists at a public reception.
- January 2002: The Library Board further narrowed to two the number of potential sites for the new branch.
- November 2001: The Library Board narrowed to four the number of potential sites for the new branch.
- October 2001: Residents discussed the opportunities and challenges of 10 sites at a community meeting to talk about where to build the new branch. The Library added to the list two more sites that residents proposed.
- March 2001: South Park residents formed the South Park Library Site Selection Committee to recommend possible locations for the new, full-service branch.
- September 2000: The Library Board voted to set aside $2.53 million to build a library in South Park.
- August 2000: The Library's Citizen Implementation Review Panel (CIRP) recommended that the Library Board reserve $2.5 million of the $6 million Opportunity Fund to build a library in South Park. CIRP evaluated 10 proposals for funding and selected South Park as its top choice.
- May 2000: The South Park Library Steering Committee proposed using a portion of the Opportunity Fund to build a full-service library in South Park.