AKA: Seattle Public Library, Magnolia Branch #3, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - social and civic buildings - libraries

Designers: Collins and Hunt, General Contractors (firm); Haag, Richard, Associates, Incorporated, Site Planners, Landscape Architects (firm); Kirk, Wallace, McKinley AIA and Associates, Architects (firm); Notkin, James B., and Associates, Mechanical Engineers (firm); Skilling, Worthington, Helle and Christiansen, Incorporated, Engineers (firm); Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss (SHKS) Architects (firm); Sparling, Thomas E. and Associates, Electrical Engineers (firm); John Valdemar Christiansen (structural engineer); Collins (building contractor); Richard Lewis Haag (landscape architect); Jonathan Holmes Hartung (architect); Helge Joel Helle (structural engineer); Hunt (building contractor); Kevin Kane (architect); Paul Hayden Kirk (architect); David A. McKinley Jr. (architect); George Katsutoshi Nakashima (architect/furniture maker); James Benjamin Notkin (mechanical engineer); Mark Snyder (architect); Thomas E. Sparling Sr. (electrical engineer); David Strauss (architect); Gary Swenson (structural engineer); Donald Sheridan Wallace (architect); Harold L. Worthington (structural engineer)

Dates: constructed 1963-1964

1 story, total floor area: 7,799 sq. ft.

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2801 34th Avenue West
Magnolia, Seattle, WA 98199-2602

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Building History

By the early 1950s, rapid growth in Seattle had fueled demand for new branch libraries in neighborhoods around the city. A first wave of branch library construction occurred during the 1910s and 1920s, but no faciliites had been built after 1928.

The Seattle TImes reported on 04/10/1962: "The Seattle Public Library Board yesterday awarded the architectural contract for the proposed $175,000 Magnolia Branch Library to the Seattle firm of Kirk, Wallace, McKinley & Associates. Construction will begin next year. The site is undetermined." (See "Magnolia Library Architect Chosen," Seattle Times, 04/10/1962, p. 11.)

Building Notes

The Seattle Public Library, Magnolia Branch was awarded the only First Honor Award given in the 1966 Library Buildings Award Program sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association. This was a biennial competition.

George Nakashima (1905-1990), the master furniture maker of New Hope, PA, (born in Seattle, WA), designed the custom-made furniture on the library's interior. Kirk was a great admirer of Nakashima's furniture, using several pieces in his own office.

In 2017, the Magnolia Branch of the Seattle Public Library occupied a 19,395-square-foot (0.45-acre) lot. It contained 7,799 gross square feet.



An enlargement and renovation occurred in 2007, supervised by Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss (SHKS), Architects. In 2004, the renovation was budgeted to cost $875,700, (paid for by the 1998 Seattle "Libraries for All" bond measure) and was to add 1,800 square feet to the original 5,900-square-foot library. Planned improvements included new HVAC equipment, efficient windows, carpeting and technical services equipment. Seattle-based Swenson Say Fagét served as the structural engineer on the rehabilitation and addition. According to its web site: "Renovation work included the installation of a new roof and structural wood supports, the replacement of the aging mechanical system components, upgrades to technology services, equipment and ventilation, improvements to electrical, communication and computer connections, and the addition of energy-efficient window glass." (See Swenson Say Fagét, "Magnolia Library," accessed 10/11/2017) In addition, a large meeting room was added to the building by SHKS and its collaborators. The permit value of the work was $1.2 million, and the building permit issued on 05/11/2007.

Seattle Historic Landmark: ID n/a

National Register of Historic Places: 15000453 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

King County Assessor Number: 1377800250 Department of Assessments eReal Property GIS Center parcel report GIS Center parcel viewer GIS Center iMap viewer

PCAD id: 6408