The Magnolia Library at 2801 34th Ave. W. is now open following a 14 month closure for a major expansion and renovation project with a price tag of $4,419,645. It was the last of the 27 projects completed under the city of Seattle “Libraries for All” building program.
The branch grew from 6,356 square feet to 7,799 square feet to include a new meeting room and a small study room. The renovation work included replacing the roof and decayed structural wood and mechanical system components, upgrading technology services, improving electrical, communication and computer connections, and adding energy-efficient window glass.
The original branch, designed by noted Seattle architect Paul Hayden Kirk, is recognized as a quintessential example of Northwest design with distinct influences of Japan. The library has been designated as a landmark building by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. It first opened in 1964.
Furniture designed by master craftsman George Nakashima was refinished as part of the project. Meyer Wells, a Magnolia furniture shop, made a table and bench for the branch from a salvaged walnut tree, a casualty of the 2006 winter storms.
The branch now has 19 computers for the public (up from 11) and reopened with about 37,000 books and materials. While the branch was closed for construction, the Library added approximately 6,000 new books, DVDs and music CDs for adults, teens and children to the collection.