AKA: Seattle Public Library, West Seattle Branch, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss (SHKS) Architects (firm); Somervell and Cote, Architects (firm); Joseph Simon Cote (architect); Jonathan Holmes Hartung (architect); Kevin Kane (architect); Mark Snyder (architect); Woodruff Marbury Somervell (architect); David Strauss (architect)

Dates: constructed 1909-1910

2306 42nd Ave SW
West Seattle, Seattle, WA 98116-2535

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Building History

Between 1910-1921, the Carnegie Corporation contributed to the construction of six libaries active in Seattle, WA in 2004: Columbia, Fremont, Green Lake, Queen Anne, West Seattle, and the University District. While having diverse exteriors, the Green Lake, University District, and West Seattle Libraries all shared a common floor plan drawn up by Seattle architects, Somervell and Coté.

In 1908, the Seattle Times reported about the three branch libraries being designed by Somervell and Coté: "The public library board yesterday afternoon considered the question of materials to be used in the construction of the three new branch libraries, designs for which have been drawn by Somervell & Coté. It practically has been agreed to erect one building of terra cotta title, with a stucco surface, and the other two of either stone or brick. The designs of each instance will be altered to some extent to give a variety." (See "Variety Suggested in Branch Buildings," Seattle Times, 09/10/1908, p. 7 ) The Green Lake and University District branches had stucco exteriors, while the West Seattle building was clad in brick.


Shrubbery was planted at this library by a landscape gardener in 1914. (See Daniel B. Trefethen, Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Seattle Public Library, 1914, [Dearborn Printing Company, 1914], p. 6.)

The West Seattle Branch of the Seattle Public Library was renovated in 2003-2004; it underwent mechanical, electrical and information system upgrades, as well as the conversion of a basement mechanical room into a meeting room. It reopened on 04/03/2004.

PCAD id: 7727