After World War II, Seattle's population and city limits expanded northward. New branch libraries opened in neighborhoods such as Broadview and Lake City, but the Northgate area did not get a library. As part of the 1998 $196.4 million Libraries for All levy, all 22 of the city's neighborhood branches were remodeled or replaced, a new Central Library was constructed, and three new branches were built.
The Library opened a temporary branch in 2003 to serve patrons while other branches were closed for remodeling. The design of the new Northgate Branch was by The Miller/Hull Partnership architects. Construction began in March 2005.
The new building is home to artwork in glass and metal, as well as a sculpture by Rita Kepner, which once sat at the old Central Library downtown.