Southwest Branch History
Library service began March 8, 1945, when the Fauntleroy Station opened near the ferry landing. "Stations" had smaller collections of books and were open fewer hours than branches, but were needed to serve the number of people who came to Seattle during World War II.
In 1956, Seattle voters passed a $5 million bond issue to replace the Central Library and to use any leftover money to build new branches. The Southwest Branch was the first new branch to be built with the money.
Southwest Branch 2007 expansion
The existing branch was built in 1961 and renovated in 1986. We needed more space to serve the Westwood community and expanded it by 6,787 square feet.
The expanded branch now has:
- updated collection capacity of 66,700 books and materials
- new seats and shelves
- improved program, service and work areas
- new computers
- a meeting room
- upgraded technology services and equipment
- more electrical, communications and computer connections
- better lighting
- a modern mechanical system
- improved seismic safety
- more accessible and safer parking
- Project type: Expand existing branch
- Completion date: 2007
- Budget for capital costs: $6.2 million
- Total library program area: 15,000 square feet (formerly 8,213 square feet)
- Computers: 32 (formerly 13)
- Artists: Katherine Kerr, Morgan Brig
- Art budget: $50,745
- Library Board steward: Greg Maffei
- Architect: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
- Contractor: Construction Enterprises & Contractors Inc.
- March 2007: The expanded Southwest Branch of The Seattle Public Library reopened Saturday, March 10.
- September 2005: Construction began on the branch expansion.
- August 2005: The branch closed Aug. 6 to prepare for expansion.
- June 2005: The Library began advertising for prequalified general contractors to submit bids to build the branch expansion.
- May 2005: The Library began advertising for general contractors to submit their qualifications in the first step to rebid the construction of the branch expansion.
- June 2004: Construction bids for the expansion of the Southwest Branch came in higher than expected. The Library will rebid the project in 2005.
- November 2003: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed design development plans for the branch expansion. Residents attended a meeting to see the expansion design.
- June 2003: The Seattle Design Commission reviewed schematic design plans for the branch expansion. Residents attended a meeting to see the first images of the branch expansion.
- April 2003: The Seattle Public Library board of trustees selected Katherine Kerr, an artist from Paradise Valley, B.C., to develop artwork for the expanded branch. An advisory panel interviewed three artists and recommended Kerr for the job.
- January 2003: The Seattle Design Commission approved pre-design plans for the branch expansion. Residents attended a "hopes and dreams" meeting to share their ideas on design, services and programs, collections and artwork.
- July 2002: The Library Board selected Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects to design the branch expansion. An advisory panel that included local residents evaluated the proposals and interviewed architect finalists. Earlier in the month, residents met architect finalists at a public reception.
- March 2002: Seventeen firms answered the Library's call for architects to expand the branch.