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centrallibrary_exterior-interiorStanding at 1000 Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle, Central Library, our largest city library, resembles a modern prism of glass and steel. Opened in 2004, the steel construction is meant to provide protection during an earthquake, and 10,000 glass panels reflect light outside, insulated to keep some of the weather from seeping in. Although some may consider the library’s architecture striking, the features and programs offered within the walls of the library are equally so.

The 11-level structure was conceived by principal architects Rem Koolhass, a Dutch designer with the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Joshua Prince-Ramus, a founding parting of OMA New York, the latter originally from Seattle. In 2005, the year after it opened, this building was voted #108 on American Institute of Architects’ list of “America’s 150 favorite structures in the United States” and a national honor award from AIA for architecture. It has also received a Platinum Award for Innovation & Engineering from the American Council of Engineering Companies (AEC) of WA.

overhead

Central Library is 362,987 square feet and also has 143-spot underground parking which requires paying a parking fee, racks to park bicycles, and metro bus service within walking distance. An elevator system, as well as stairs, whisks visitors from the bottom floor to the top.

stacks

Interesting things to try that are unique to
Central Library: 

  • Choose from the 1,283,420 items in their complete collection (as of 2015)
  • Reserve a practice room (one hour daily limit) and play music on a digital keyboard, choosing from the library’s extensive music collection (at Book Spirals 8)
  • Access one of the library’s 400 computers (90 minutes limit)
  • Attend a concert or lecture in their auditorium
  • Lounge in the “Living Room”, a space on the 3rd floor that invites reading
  • Visit a traveling exhibition (such as Shakespeare’s First Folio which was on display last year)
  • Sip a cup of espresso while nibbling on your baked good, sandwich, or chocolate at the Chocolati Cafe Cart (Level 3)
  • Peruse the gift shop
  • Find an ancestor or look up a history through the Special Collections. The Special Collections contain:
    • oral history
    • state document depository
    • aviation history
    • genealogy records
    • historical documents about Seattle
    • written materials, 30,000+ photos, original artwork (2D and 3D), and maps
  • Pluck a book from the Books Spiral that rises & winds straight up through 4 stories
  • Study the public art inside and outside the library
  • Take a guided tour or a self-guided one by typing in reference #s on your cell phone at different, designated points throughout Central library
childresources
Extensive Child Resources, Central Library
auditorium
Auditorium, Central Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting things to try at most Seattle Public Library locations (besides reading, of course):

  • Learn a new language (book, audio, or digital)
  • Learn new Adobe (InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop) and Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint) software
  • Loan a Wi-Fi Hotspot to take home with you
  • Print documents from your own wireless device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) using a Wi-Fi connection while at the library
  • Read a digital magazine through Zinio, a digital newsstand
  • Participate in the Library-to-Business program
  • Listen to an established writer through different classes and lecture series, such as SeattleWrites, then start your own book
  • Publish your own book through the SELF-e platform
  • Check out a wide variety of movies, from box office hits to lesser-known works

Interesting note: The amount the library has been used by guests is twice the volume originally predicted. Visit the Seattle Public Library website to find out more about programs on their Calendar of Events at Central Library and other locations.

upperfloor

All photos courtesy of The Seattle Public Library

Belltown Crush 2015 PosterThough the Cascade Valley may not be as well known as the Columbia Valley or Walla Walla in the Washington wine world, the area comprising Lake Chelan, the Wenatchee Valley, and Leavenworth is one of our state’s most unique wine regions and is home to more than 50 wineries. The annual Belltown Crush party gives you the opportunity to taste wines from 15 Cascade Valley wineries at a festive event at Bell Street Park, also featuring food trucks, live music, a grape-stomping competition, a pig roast by Bell + Whete, and an on-site wine store. Activities for kids will be available as well, including a bouncy house and face painting. Net proceeds from the event will go to Plymouth Housing Group. Tickets for the August 23 event are $25, and include 10 tasting tickets for the wine garden. Buy your tickets here!

Here are the 15 great wineries that will be participating in the event:

Baroness Cellars
Castle Vineyards
Chateau Faire Le Pont
Eagle Creek Winery
Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards and Winery
Icicle Ridge Winery
Icicle Brewery
Jones of Washington Winery
Legend Cellars
Plain Cellars
Rocky Pond Winery
Silvara Vineyards
Stemilt Creek Winery
Voila Winery

 

Belltown view
View toward Lake Union

This 19th-floor condo is now available for sale in in Belltown! Enjoy beautiful east-facing views of Downtown and the Cascades, plus a partial view of Lake Union from every room in the unit and from the large deck. The open kitchen features stainless steel appliances, dark wood cabinets, gorgeous granite counter tops, and a pantry. This unit has high ceilings throughout, and the spacious living room has space for a dining table. The bedroom has two closets for added storage. This building has 24/7 security and concierge, great amenities with a large outdoor area, and air conditioning. Enjoy great views with all Belltown has to offer! Click here for more information about this unit.

DETAILS

Beds: 1

Baths: 1

Square feet: 637

 

Join the Friends of Bell Street Park tomorrow, February 13, at the Belltown Community Center to discuss upcoming projects at the park and to enjoy wine and appetizers with your friends and neighbors. Choose your favorites from the top 20 projects selected and give your input on goings-on at the park for the next five years. The event will run from 6:00-8:00 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to grab happy hour at one of our many great Belltown restaurants before heading to the community center, located at 415 Bell St.

Belltown CC

Join your Belltown Community Council this Wednesday, February 11, for an update on neighborhood issues and to enjoy some delicious food from Belltown’s own Buckley’s. Here’s what’s on the agenda for the night:

  • Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (L.E.A.D.) Update: A pilot program that allows law enforcement officers to direct low-level drug or prostitution offenders in Belltown to social services instead of jail time.
  • Update on the Affordable Living Committee from Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark.
  • Update on the Public Realm Study from Steering Committee Chair Jane Zalutsky. Find out how you can help plan connections between Belltown, Denny Triangle, and Uptown.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Belltown Community Center (415 Bell St.).