Stationhouse (Madrona-Sally Goldmark) Branch, The Seattle Public Library, opens on February 11, 1973.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 12/05/2002
  • Essay 4035
See Additional Media

On February 11, 1973, the Stationhouse Branch, The Seattle Public Library, opens at 33rd Avenue E and E Union Street in an old fire station. The branch results from the efforts of community leader Sally Goldmark (1907-1985).

In 1971, Goldmark (born Irma Ringe) helped organize a community reading center called a Book-Tique. The three-month pilot project was run out of a storefront on 34th Avenue E and featured 1,500 books and reading programs for children. The Book-Tique was sponsored by The Seattle Public Library, the Mayor's Office of Youth Development, and the Magnolia Community Council with funding from the Washington State Libraries Commission. The Book-Tique was open six days a week, eight hours a day.

In 1972, Fire Station No. 12 was surplused. It was in an ideal location for a library, across the street from Madrona School and near a playfield. Goldmark got the City to rent the firehouse to the Library for $100 a year. The branch informally opened on February 8, 1973 and the formal opening was three days later.

On May 31, 1985, Goldmark died. The following year, the Seattle Library Board voted to rename the branch Madrona-Sally Goldmark in her memory.


Richard W. Larsen, "Sally Goldmark -- Vivid Memories of Human Cruelty," The Seattle Times, December 16, 1984, p. A-18; Mark Higgins, "Neighbors Have Worked Together To Build Better, Safer Home," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 4, 1997, (; "Madrona Book-Tique," folder, Seattle Public Library Archives; Linda Brass, "Report on the Madrona Book-Tique," photocopy of typescript, November 5, 1971, Seattle Public Library Archives; "Madrona Branch History," looseleaf binder, Seattle Public Library Archives.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You