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Seattle Public Library – Five Stars, and Five Secrets

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Recently, Library Journal.com posted the L J Index of Public Library Service 2010, rating 7,407 public libraries nationwide. 258 of these were designated as “Star Libraries”. In its category, the Seattle Public Library System (SPL) received Library Journal’s highest rating of five stars, ranking # 1 west of the Mississippi and # 3 nationwide.  Portland and San Francisco came in at # 11 and # 14 nationwide, respectively, and both received three stars.

In light of this terrific news, we thought it’d be a good time to revisit the SPL, with special emphasis on its crown jewel, the Central Library.  Located at 1000 Fourth Avenue, it is not only a marvel in glass, but in the breadth of services it offers.  From checking out books to booking a catered event, the Central Library is the last word in community service.

Ready for the Five Secrets?

 1.  If you’re into genealogy, you’ve hit a goldmine. Logging into the SPL website with your library card number gives you access to a number of databases. The Central Library itself is a repository for many genealogy items AND you can sit at a terminal and enjoy free access to ancestry.com

2.  On the first and third Mondays of each month, take a bag lunch to the Microsoft Auditorium on Level 1  (4th Avenue) and treat yourself to a “Thrilling Tale”, read aloud by a library staffer. This starts at noon and runs for about 50 minutes. This is one of a number of lunch hour programs that SPL does.

3.  Looking for a unique gift?  Level 3 near the Fifth Avenue entrance has a wonderful store called Friendshop, featuring items created by more than 65 Northwest artists. Along with library souvenirs, you can buy jewelry, cards and many other items at prices that won’t bust your budget.  This Friendshop link takes you to their website where you can even purchase online.

4.  They host a wide range of events, from the daylong “To Kill a Mockingbird” event held in September to a children’s Fall Festival afternoon of stories and craft making. Check their Calendar of Events link for readings, author visits, concerts, classes and more, which cover not only the Central Library but the entire 26-branch system. All of these events are free of charge.

5.  SPL has a free mobile app. Learn more about it here.

Library Journal is the field’s leading professional publication and developed its national rankings based on per capita statistics for library visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer use. This year’s ratings were based on 2008 data that libraries reported to the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.  SPL was one of only five libraries in the country in the expenditures of $30 million or higher category to receive a five-star rating.  The others included three public libraries in Ohio and the Denver Public Library.

Civic Square – 601 4th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

Status: Proposed: 2012
Neighborhood: Downtown

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DESCRIPTION

The Seattle Civic Square project is an innovative, ground-breaking project with a major public civic space, mixed use tower and various structures. The design is a collaboration between Foster + Partners of London, Atelier Dreiseitl of Germany and GGLO.  More than half of the site will be an open air plaza that is easily accessible to the public, oriented for sun and warmth, with links between indoor and outdoor spaces. The plaza is designed to attract the public throughout the day and into the evening. The outlying structures, combined with an amphitheater and multiple seating areas, will help draw people to the plaza for activities. A new entrance to the light rail and transit station on Third Avenue will provide a direct link into the plaza spaces.  The Square’s 500+ foot main structure will be located on the north edge of the site so that it enhances public and pedestrian life in the open space. Building uses will include commercial, office, retail and residential. Parking will be located under the plaza. The project has the ambitious aim of achieving a LEED Gold rating.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

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*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

Smith Tower – 506 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

Status: Proposed: 2010
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square/Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

The Smith Tower is one of the world’s first skyscrapers, hailed in an agog Seattle and elsewhere as the tallest office building in the world outside New York City.  The proposal is to convert the commercial space on the top 12 floors to 12 luxurious condominiums.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

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*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

Tobira – 108 5th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104

tobira-logo.jpg

Address: 108 5th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square/International District

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

Located in the most southern tip of downtown where Pioneer Square and the International District intersect, Tobira is a 2007 renovated conversion by The Wysong Group that offers spacious studios, 1-bedrooms and 2-bedrooms. The new homes were decorated with high-quality materials such as brushed nickel, granite, maple or cherry cabinets, “Natural Options Wood” flooring and large windows. Interiors boast lush carpet with extra padding, updated kitchens with slab granite countertops and contemporary lighting fixtures.

PICTURES

Courtyard Exterior Bar

Living Kitchen Deck

BUILDING DATA

  • Year Built: 2001
  • Number of Units: 88
  • Number of Stories: 7
  • Exterior: Cement/Concrete, Stucco
  • Parking: Common Garage
  • Pets: Subj to Restrictions
  • H/O Dues Included: Garbage, Earthquake Ins.
  • Common Property Features & Amenities: Cable TV, Courtyard, Game/Rec Room, Elevator, Fire Sprinklers, Lobby Entrance, Security Gate

NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS

  • Amtrak Station
  • Aristocrat’s Club
  • Filipinas
  • Foster/White Gallery
  • Fuji Sushi
  • Hon’s
  • Kim Hair
  • Kobo at Higo
  • Maneki
  • Manila Bay
  • Osami’s
  • Pioneer Square Clinic
  • Seattle Lighting Fixture
  • Something Old Something New
  • Trolley Stop Deli Mart
  • Union Station Market
  • Universal Fitness Center
  • V Garden

VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD MAP

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

5th and Madison – 909 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

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Address: 909 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

Newspaper headlines for 5th and Madison boast healthy, active downtown living and “built green” (one of the top 10 green built in America). Designed by architects Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine and built by Turner Construction, 5th and Madison is located across the street from the Central Seattle Library in the Financial District. The project is a renovation of the existing 40-story Bank of California office tower. Green features included 30% less energy and water usage. This high-rise is one of the first in the country to obtain a Gold Standard LEED certification for it’s leadership in environmental design. Ground-level green space is a half acre of landscaped drought-tolerant native plants with a water channel and waterfall. Even paints, adhesives and sealants are all low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC). Many of this tower’s affluent homebuyers seek healthier lifestyles and are concerned about fuel-effeciency. One-bedrooms and one-bedrooms plus dens were originally priced from the $500′s to $1.1 million. Penthouses from $1.9 million to $2.6 million.

PICTURES

Exterior Stream Entry

Lobby Sales Center Model Kitchen

VIDEO

BUILDING DATA

  • Year Built: 2007
  • Number of Units: 126
  • Number of Stories: 24
  • Exterior: Cement/Concrete, Steel, Glass
  • Parking: Common Garage
  • Pets: Subj to Restrictions
  • H/O Dues Included: Central Hot Water, Earthquake Ins., Garbage, Water/Sewer
  • Common Property Features & Amenities: Cable TV, Elevator, Exercise Room, Fire Sprinklers, Lobby Entrance, Concierge, Courtyard, Club Room

NEIGHBORHOOD


ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts biz journals emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.