Green Lake Branch, The Seattle Public Library, reopens after renovation on March 6, 2004.

  • By Paula Becker
  • Posted 5/26/2005
  • Essay 7322
On March 6, 2004, the Green Lake Branch, The Seattle Public Library, reopens after renovation at 7364 E Greenlake Drive N. This is the sixth branch to open as part of "Libraries For All," a $196.4 million bond issue passed by Seattle voters in 1998.

The Green Lake Branch was designed by W. Marbury Somervell (1872-1939) and Joseph S. Coté and built with funds donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.  It opened in 1910.  The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was named a landmark by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. 

The renovation was designed by Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss Architects and cost $1,103,780.  It includes an updated collection, updated telecommunications and data equipment, better interior lighting, ventilation systems, sound insulation, and exterior drainage systems.  The building’s many tall windows were removed and replaced with exact replicas that open to admit fresh air.  All areas were repainted and recarpeted.  An accessible downstairs bathroom near the meeting room was added.  The circulation desk area was enlarged and improved and more computer terminals were added.  The front walkway and entrance area were restored to their original Somervell/Coté design.

Remodeling the Green Lake Branch took longer than initially anticipated.  The popular branch in the heart of the bustling Green Lake neighborhood was closed for nearly a year and a half, surrounded by a chain-link fence.  Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (b. 1955), City Librarian Deborah Jacobs, and hundreds of Green Lake patrons and library volunteers joined in the reopening day festivities.

Sources: Jane Hodges, “Green Lakers Welcome Back Restored Library; Frustrating Wait Taught Officials ‘A Few Lessons,’” The Seattle Times, March 7, 2004; Wyatt Buchanan, “Renovations Are On The Books; Green Lake Branch Reopening Is Latest In Libraries Major Face Lift,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 12, 2004; HistoryLink.Org Online Encyclopedia of Washington History, “Green Lake branch, The Seattle Public Library,” (by Louis Fiset),, accessed May 18, 2005; “About The Green Lake Branch,” The Seattle Public Library website accessed May 16, 2005(

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