Seattle Public Library

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Located in: North America United States Washington Seattle
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Who goes to a library on vacation?

Well, me, for one, but that’s neither here nor there.

And if every library was as cool as the central branch of the Seattle Public Library  maybe more people would. Nestled in the middle of downtown Seattle, the 11-story steel-and-glass behemoth sits on the same block where the Emerald City’s first central library opened in 1905. Nearly a century later, in May 2004, today’s state-of-the-art 362,000-square-foot building – designed by famed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Seattle resident Joshua Ramus – opened its doors to the public.

One of the coolest parts of the library is the four-story Books Spiral on floors 6-9 that sends visitors up gently sloping ramps – take the stairs if you’re looking for a shortcut – following the Dewey Decimal System. Starting at 000 (generalities) and ending at 999 (extraterrestrial worlds), the Books Spiral takes you through the majority of the library’s
nonfiction collection, which accounts for more than 75 percent of the library’s inventory.

When you reach the 10th floor, you’re rewarded with the stunning Betty Jane Narver Reading Room, complete with a 40-foot glass ceiling and a view of Elliott Bay. There’s even an observation platform by the elevators – rumor has it one of the architects included it in the plans so he’d have a place to propose to his girlfriend – that lets you look all the way down to the third floor. (I was content to hold my camera
over the edge and take a picture.)

There are too many other cool features – including the children’s area, the fourth floor covered ceiling-to-floor in red paint and the third-floor “Living Room” – to include here. Take a look at this list of floor-by-floor highlights to learn more.

Know before you go

The library opens at 10 a.m. every day except Sunday, when it opens at noon, and closes at 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Bottom line

Even if you’re not a bibliophile, the library is a great place to go simply to soak in the views, inside and
out.

Know before you go

The library opens at 10 a.m. every day except Sunday, when it opens at noon, and closes at 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

5 responses to “Seattle Public Library”

  1. avatar Gema Cratso says:

    Great post by Alan. I am doing a research on world famous library and recently I visited Seattle Public Library. It is a great experience over there. While researching I found a good source where you will find information on more famous library http://www.etraveldestinations.com .

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Last updated: March 2, 2014