Seattle Blog and Recent Site Additions
May 14, 2012
The Seattle Central Library
1000 Fourth Avenue
The Fifth Avenue side of the Library
One of my favorite places in Seattle is its spectacular Central Library. The Library is one of Seattle’s most famous structures and visitors from around the world flock to see its extraordinary architecture.
Statistics tell how popular the Library is. Pike Place Market is Seattle’s number one attraction and hosts over 10,000,000 visitors annually. The Central Library is Seattle’s number two most popular attraction and it attracts 1,900,000 visitors annually.
Whether you look at the Library from the outside or the inside, it shatters the mold of a quiet and staid library building. Let's explore this stunning structure.
The corner of Fifth Avenue and Madison. This is my favorite viewing point for the Library.
The building’s exterior is quite distinctive. It is covered in 9,994 panes of glass and its many reflecting surfaces really play with your impression of the structure. The views change depending on the amount of sunlight and the time of day.
The exterior offers many amazing viewpoints. My favorite views are on the Fifth Avenue side. You can walk up and down Fifth Avenue and see so many different angles to view the Library’s angular and highly reflective surfaces. You can walk towards the Fifth Avenue entrance and walk under the triangular shaped entrance space. This space is interesting to look at and to photograph.
The interior of the Library is stunning. When you enter from the Fifth Avenue entrance, you will be on the Third Floor Living Room. The Living Room looks unlike most libraries on the planet. The Living Room is the Library’s central traffic area. It houses the coffee shop, the Library book store, a portion of the book collection, and the pleasant reading stations.
The Fifth floor is a nice place to visit. You can take the colorful escalators or the elevators to that level. The majority of the 400 public computer workstations are on this level and the reference librarians have a large information desk. This level also offers sweeping views of the Library’s interior including the Living Room.
Go up to the Tenth floor for the highest viewpoint in the Library. Walk around to see the beautiful 12,000 square foot Betty Jane Narver Reading Room.
If you want definitive proof that this is not an ordinary building, check out the Fourth Floor meeting room level. The dark red walls and staircase look like one of the sets on the Star Trek.
PHOTOGRAPHYThe Library is a fascinating subject for photographers. Just start strolling around and you will see many great views to capture on your camera.
The Fourth Avenue side with Henry Moore's sculpture Vertebrae in the foreground
The walkway on Fifth Avenue near the Library entrance
A view of the Living Room including a reading area, the coffee shop, the book store, and the Fifth Avenue entrance
An overhead view of workstations in the Living Room
A spectacular view from the Fifth Floor
The Living Room carpets
You can't miss these escalators
The Fifth Floor public computer stations
The lovely Betty Jane Narver Reading Room on the Tenth Level
You can read my web site article for more statistics about the Library. That article offers photos and we have three Photo Gallery pages for the Library. Please click on one of the following options to see more of our material about the Library:
- Our main web site article about the Library
- Photo Gallery page one—exterior views
- Photo Gallery page two—interior views
- Photo Gallery Page three—interior views
The Seattle Public Library has a lot of information about its Central Library on the main Seattle Public Library web site. It offers floor by floor highlights. Please click here to go to their web site.
The Library has a self-guided cell phone tour. In addition, Library tours are offered.
Please click here to go to our Seattle Alphabetical Index.