Latest Northeast Branch renovations nearly complete!

The meeting room of the Northeast Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) still has some children’s area materials stashed in it, but the remainder of our local branch of the Seattle Public Library is nearly done with its recent renovations.

Ravenna Blog Intern #2 samples the selection in the newly renovated Children's area of the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

Ravenna Blog Intern #2 samples the selection in the newly renovated Children’s Area of the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

After an open house held in October, the library saw some reduced hours (including Friday closures) in November and December as construction rotated through the branch. Changes for the staff included the obvious during construction…

…as well as a new layout: The reference desk area is now where the public computers are located, and all staff service desks and self-checkout area are along the west wall (or the top of the picture below).


Bird’s-eye, roof-off view of the renovated portions of the Northeast Branch. NE 68th Avenue entrance is on the left (click to enlarge).

All the new pieces of the Jodi Green and Mike Halperin Children’s Area — seating, tables, even the shelves in the center of the area — are mobile.


A slightly out-of-focus Delavan at the October 2013 open house gave the plans a thumbs-up.

Folks with small kids, you’ll like this: Story Times are starting up again soon! Here’s the schedule, which starts up again on January 14:

Toddler Story Time (ages 1-3): Thursdays at 10:15 AM and 11:15 AM.

Preschool Story Time (ages 3-5): Tuesdays at 10:30 AM.

Pajamas and Puppets (all ages): Wednesday, January 29 at 7 PM.


City Librarian Marcellus Turner, Library Board members, representatives from Miller Hayashi Architects, and Children’s Services Librarian Erica Delavan at the open house in October 2013.

The Northeast Branch doubled in size after a major expansion in 2004. It was renovated most recently in 2009. Seattle architect Paul Thiry designed the building, which opened June 3, 1954 and was designated a landmark by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board in January 2001.

Northeast Branch of the SPL readies to renovate, again

The busiest branch location in the entire Seattle Public Library system? Ours. Busy for patrons, and for construction.

An open house to show off another round of improvements for the Northeast Branch is being held on Saturday, October 5, from 2-3:30 PM (brief remarks at 2 PM).

From the open house event page:

Coming soon! A larger children’s area, family-friendly seating, more filtered computers for children and more self-service checkout stations.

City Librarian Marcellus Turner, Library Board members and representatives from Miller Hayashi Architects will explain the improvements and answer questions.


Rendering of the improvements planned for the Northeast Branch (located in the SE corner of the building).

Rendering of the improvements planned for the Northeast Branch (interior SE corner of the building).

The Northeast Branch doubled in size after a major expansion in 2004. It was renovated most recently in 2009.

If you cannot make it to the open house yourselves, Ravenna Blog is planning on attending. And taking lots of notes and pictures, as is our custom.

Green Lake Way North Safety Improvements Open House

If you’re a regular reader of the Ravenna Blog these days, you’re into road safety improvements. (Seems to be all we post about on here lately, anyway.)

This next project is a bit out of our normal coverage area, but that doesn’t mean we don’t ever drive there.

On Tuesday, August 20, from 6:30-7:45 PM, the Seattle Department of Transportation is holding an open house about proposed safety improvements on Green Lake Way North (between N 50th and N 55th Streets) at the Green Lake Branch of the Seattle Public Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr N). The presentation portion begins at 6:45 PM.


More details (via email):

Green Lake Way North is currently a four-lane street that borders the east side of the Woodland Park Playfields and provides access to Green Lake from the south. The Seattle Department of Transportation is proposing changes to make the street safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to walk and ride bikes, as well as safer for drivers. The changes will reduce speeds, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access.

The proposal includes installing a new center turn lane, reconfiguring the street to provide one travel lane in each direction with bicycle lanes on both sides of the street, and improving pedestrian crossings. A new stop sign will be installed at West Green Lake Way North. Traffic signal operations at Green Lake Way North and North 50th Street will be improved by removing one block of parking on the north side of North 50th Street.

For more information on the project, visit SDOT’s Green Lake Way Safety Improvements page.

Summer Story Times and more at the Northeast Branch

Northeast Branch Children’s Services Librarian Erica Delavan will be taking a break in mid/late July for a summer vacation, but there are a few more Story Times before she’s gone (via email):

Preschool Story Time (Geared for ages 3-5)
Tuesdays, July 2, 9 at 10:30 AM

Toddler Story Time (Geared for ages 1-3)
Thursday, July 11 at 10:15 & 11:15 AM

Pajamas & Puppets (All Ages)
Wednesday, July 10 at 7 PM (a week earlier than normal!)
Wednesday, August 21 at 7 PM

There’s also the Seattle Public Library’s Summer Reading Program to participate in:

The Summer Reading Program is in full swing, and we have prizes for all kids from 0 – 12 years old! (Yes, I even have board book prizes for infants, so read to those babies this summer.) Just come to the library to pick up a reading log, keep track of the books your child reads or that you read to your child, and after 10 books, they win a free book! We also have lots of great programs going on this summer for kids, and you can find out about everything here.


To help fill the gap between now and fall Story Times, there are an assortment of free events for families with kids of various ages to participate in, too:

Ponte el Ritmo – Afro-Latino Rhythms! (Ages 5 and up)
Monday, July 22 at 4 PM

Roots and Branches – Music with Harmonica Pocket! (Ages 1 – 6)
Thursday, July 25 at 11 AM

Can You Dig It? with Alex Zerbe (Ages 3 and up)
Friday, August 2 at 2 PM

Storybook Science: Incredible Insects! (Ages 4 – 8)
Saturday, August 17 at 11 AM
Registration required.

Center of the Earth Tour with the Brian Waite Band (Ages 5-11)
Friday, August 23 at 11 AM
At the Meadowbrook Community Center
10517 35th Avenue NE

Make a Pop-Up Book (Ages 3 and up)
Tuesday, August 17 at 3 PM

Children’s Home Society land FOR SALE: 3.7 acres on NE 65th St could be yours

The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) posted on their website today information about the sale of the Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW) property at 3300 NE 65th St.

View Children’s Home Society of Washington land for sale in a larger map

CHSW owns the entire block of 3300 NE 65th St, which neighbors the private Catholic school Assumption-St. Bridget, the Bryant Corner Cafe, the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library, and lots of single family housing.

Offers on the property are due by Friday, May 17. A source of ours said that CHSW expects to raise $12-15 million dollars from the sale.

From the offering memorandum (PDF):

The Property encompasses the entire city block bounded by NE 65th Street, NE 68th Street, 32nd Avenue NE and 34th Avenue NE in Seattle’s Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood. The Site totals 3.7 acres and has seven existing buildings. The Site has been home to CHSW for over 100 years, receiving its first intake of children in 1908 when the area was still a woodsy exurb of bustling Seattle. Since the closure of the Cobb Center for Youth in 2010, the Site has been used by CHSW solely as administrative office space. CHSW currently operates out of the office building on the south end of the property and one of the cottage buildings. The two remaining cottage buildings are currently unoccupied.

The property carries three different zoning designations across its length: NC 1-30, LR-2, and SF-5000. (More information on what these zoning classifications mean here.)


At the RBCA’s next board meeting on Tuesday, May 7, the sale of the property will be discussed. All residents are welcome to attend.

According to, “[t]he National Children’s Home Society was formed in Illinois in 1883 on the new idea of placing orphaned children for adoption in family foster homes rather than in orphanages.” Reverend Harrison D. Brown and his wife Libbie Beach Brown, who first oversaw the society’s work in Oregon, built a small receiving home in Green Lake in 1899. After it was destroyed in a fire in 1905, a new building was constructed in Ravenna, on donated land. Brown Hall (named for the Reverend) stood from 1907 until it was demolished in the 1970s to make way for more modern facilities.

December Story Times for NE Branch; City Librarian reading on Tuesday (PHOTOS)

Straight from the Northeast Branch’s Children’s Services Librarian, Erica Delavan, here are the Story Times for the rest of the year (via email; emphasis mine):

Toddler Story Time (Geared for ages 1-3)
Thursdays, December 6, 13, 20 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m.
(No Story Time Dec. 27 or Jan. 3)

Preschool Story Time (Geared for ages 3-5)
Tuesdays, December 4, 11, 18 at 10:30 a.m.
(No Story Time Dec. 25 or Jan. 1)

Pajamas & Puppets (All Ages)
Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Special Guest on December 4!
At Preschool Story Time on December 4, we will be joined by City Librarian Marcellus Turner. (We just call him MT.) He is looking forward to reading one of his favorite picture books to everyone!

The Seattle Public Library’s Northeast Branch (6801 35th Ave NE) is located one block south of Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts (6845 35th Ave NE), an important fact that is not lost on any member of the Ravenna Blog staff.


UPDATE (12:19 PM): City Librarian Marcellus Turner read “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by  Jon Scieszka (illustrated by Lane Smith).


Children’s author Jon Klassen visits the NE Branch this Sunday

If not for our deep and abiding love in this neighborhood (and our slightly fanatical desire to find out what’s happening here), we’d probably writing a blog about our favorite children’s books.

Happily, this weekend, both these passions intersect.

This Sunday, October 14, from 3-4 PM, Jon Klassen will be at the Northeast Branch (6801 35th Avenue Northeast) to talk about his books!

Manitoba-born Klassen is the author and illustrator of two picture books for children: The twisted and charming “I Want My Hat Back,” published in 2011, and the brand new “This is Not My Hat.”


July Story Time schedule for the Northeast Branch (plus library history) UPDATE

Here is your Northeast Branch (6801 35th Ave NE) Story Time schedule, courtesy the Children’s Services Librarian, Erica Delavan:

Toddler Story Time
(Geared for ages 1-3)

Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m.
(No story time July 26)

Preschool Story Time
(Geared for ages 3-5)

Tuesdays, July 3, 10, 17 at 10:30 a.m.
(No story time July 24 or 31)
Pajamas & Puppets
(All Ages)
Wednesday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m.

And since we’re on the topic of libraries, did you know that the Northeast Branch started as a humble deposit station at 6259 33rd Ave NE in December of 1945? And that the building at the library’s current location was designed by the primary planner and principal architect of the Seattle World’s Fair?

Read all about it (and see some pictures of the older incarnations) at (“North East Branch, The Seattle Public Library”).

Fellow local site and Seattle Times Local News Partner, the Montlaker, sent us the link to the Pacific Coast Architecture Database listing for Paul Thiry, the aformentioned designer of the Northeast Branch building. Over his lifetime, Thiry designed 55 structures, including the Frye Art Museum, the Washington State Library in Olympia, and, for the World’s Fair, the Washington State Coliseum (now Key Arena).

June Story Time schedule for the Northeast Branch

With all that liquid sunshine coming down outside, surely you and your little one(s) need some indoor fun.

With that depressing realization in mind, here’s the June Story Time schedule for the Northeast Branch (6801 35th Ave NE), courtesy the Children’s Services Librarian, Erica Delavan:

Toddler Story Time (Geared for ages 1-3)
Thursdays, June 14, 21, 28 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m.

Preschool Story Time (Geared for ages 3-5)
Tuesdays, June 12, 19, 26 at 10:30 a.m.

Pajamas & Puppets (All Ages)
Wednesday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Furthermore, the Summer Reading Program has begun, and as of noon on Friday, June 8, had 575 kids signed up. When 10 books have been read, enrollees can choose a book from the Prize Book Cabinet AND a pass for four kids and two adults to visit the Burke Museum (good between July 1 and August 31. Read more about the Children’s Summer Reading Program here.

BUT WAIT — there’s MORE.

There is a Summer Reading Program for adults as well. For every three books you read and review (online, in the Seattle Public Library’s system), you are entered to win a free Kindle.


Teens can partake of the fun as well. Here’s more information on the Summer Reading Program for Teens, for those of us aged 13-18 years.

Enjoy Story Time this week in your PJs, or with seeds, or both!

Story Times at the Northeast Library (6801 35th Ave NE) are back on their regular weekday schedule the first week of May, but there is a Pajamas and Puppets this Wednesday, April 25, from 7-7:30 PM.

And if you’re looking for a weekend story time to take your sprout(s) to, you may want to check out the Miller Library at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (3501 NE 41st St) this Saturday, April 28. The library holds a monthly story time with activities for kids age 3-8 years and their families. The program runs from 10:30-11:15 AM.

Here’s a description:

Amazing Seeds Story Program

This is a story program that starts small and grows into something amazing! Before the stories, join us in the program room to make a seed mosaic.

PLANT SECRETS by Emily Goodman

Information on upcoming Story Times at the Miller Library can be found here.