Seattle Public Library Central Library

Bold, beloved and stacked with surprises

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It’s a library, sure, but it’s also an architectural landmark, a tourist destination and a place to check your email. The Seattle Public Library Central Library’s glassy cantilevered design means views galore and abundant natural light. Architect Rem Koolhaas knew all those windows would be a big bonus on gray Seattle days.

Use your phone to take a tour of 19 highlights throughout the library. Or just head straight up to Level 10 for the main reading room. Then make your way down via the book “spiral” and boldly colored escalators and stairwells. See the library website for upcoming lectures, concerts and art exhibits. There’s always something going on here.

Find the library between Spring and Madison streets, with entrances on both 4th and 5th avenues. The third floor (via the 5th Avenue entrance) is a high-ceilinged “Living Room” complete with a coffee cart. Head to the fifth floor “Mixing Chamber” if you need computer access (30-minute guest passes available). There’s also free wi-fi throughout the building.

At A Glance

1000 4th Avenue
Seattle WA 98104
(206) 386-4636
Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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