In 1998, Seattle voters approved the $196.4 million Libraries for All levy which provided for remodeling all 22 of the city’s branches, a new central library, and five new branches. The Montlake Branch -- or station -- had been in former retail space since first opening in 1944. Plans called for a new building at 24th Avenue E and E McGraw Street.
Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers designed the brick and cedar-clad structure to fit in with the neighborhood. The contractor Graham Contracting Ltd, began construction in August 2005. The library with its 5,652 square feet provides more than three times the space of the old facility.
Seattle artist Rebecca Cummins created a colored glass sundial/skylight. Five circular openings in the ceiling project colorful spotlights that move through the library during the day as the sun moves across the sky. The library also displays a painting by Boyer Gonzales and a woodcut print by Hodaka Yoshida.