Montlake Branch History
In September 1944, the Library teamed up with the Montlake Community Club to open a small library to serve the area.
The community club raised money and leased a former grocery store, while the Library provided a librarian and books. The Library assumed financial responsibility for the space in 1947.
In 1979, the library moved into the adjacent space formerly occupied by a drug store. In 1991, the branch closed for 2 1/2 years while the building owner upgraded the structure, during which time a bookmobile served the neighborhood.
Montlake Branch 2006 Replacement
The former branch, a 1,574-square-foot converted retail store, was aging and needed to be replaced.
The new branch now has:
- updated and expanded collection capacity of 18,700 books and materials
- more seats
- a meeting room
- upgraded technology services and equipment
- Project type: Replace existing branch
- Completion date: 2006
- Budget for capital costs: $5.4 million
- Total library program area: 5,652 square feet (formerly 1,574 square feet)
- Computers: 11 (formerly 5)
- Artist: Rebecca Cummins
- Art budget: $22,635
- Library Board steward: Gilbert W. Anderson
- Architect: Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers (formerly Weinstein Copeland Architects)
- Contractor: Graham Contracting Ltd.
- August 2006: The new Montlake Branch of The Seattle Public Library opened at noon Saturday, Aug. 12.
- August 2005: Construction began on the new branch.
- June 2005: The Library began advertising for prequalified general contractors to submit bids to build the new branch.
- May 2005: The Library began advertising for general contractors to submit their qualifications in the first step to rebid the branch construction.
- April 2005: The Library received only one general contractor bid, which was higher than expected.
- March 2005: The Library began advertising for general contractor bids.
- November 2004: Construction bids for the new branch came in higher than expected. The Library hopes to rebid the project in spring 2005.
- December 2003: The Seattle Design Commission further reviewed design development plans.
- October 2003: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed design development plans for the new branch.
- September 2003: Residents attended a meeting to see the design of the new branch.
- May 2003: Residents attended a meeting to see the first images of the branch.
- March 2003: The Seattle Public Library board of trustees selected Seattle artist Rebecca Cummins to develop artwork for the branch. An advisory panel interviewed four artists and recommended Cummins for the job. Earlier in the month, the Seattle Design Commission reviewed schematic design plans for the branch.
- November 2002: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed pre-design plans.
- September 2002: Residents attended a "hopes and dreams" meeting to share ideas on design, services and programs, collections and artwork.
- April 2002: The Library Board selected Weinstein Copeland Architects to design the new branch. An advisory panel that included Montlake residents evaluated proposals and interviewed architect finalists. Earlier in the month, residents met the finalists at a public reception.
- May 2001: The Library Board voted to build the new branch at the northwest corner of 24th Avenue East and East McGraw Street.
- March 2001: Residents attended a second meeting regarding siting the new branch.
- July 2000: The Library Board narrowed to three the number of potential sites for the new branch.
- June 2000: Residents discussed eight potential sites at the first community meeting to talk about where to build the new branch.