Historic library given contemporary reworking that echoes social change in the surrounding community
The Douglass Truth Library is a cherished landmark in the Central District community of Seattle, Washington. As a Carnegie-era library that has served a diverse and ever-changing community for over 80 years, the facility was in need of expansion in order to accommodate its growing constituency.
The renovation and expansion of the historic Douglass-Truth Branch preserves the character-defining features of the landmark structure while creating an expression for the contemporary Central District community. The integrity of the original building, from its brick and terra cotta facade to its grand reading rooms, classical detailing and oak bookcases, has been maintained.
The addition contains a reading room that houses the city’s African-American book collection and a public meeting room. It is covered by a copper clad light monitor that brings in generous amounts of daylight and frames views of the historic building. The exterior of the addition facing the historic library is glazed, reflecting the color and details of the landmark building by day and allowing light inside the addition to spill out at night.