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Library History & Architecture
Everett’s Library Beginnings: The Everett Woman’s Book Club
The town of Everett had scarcely incorporated when its growth was halted by a national depression, the Panic of 1893. Many investors withdrew support, businesses collapsed and a small populace of about 5,000 was left to deal with the hard times.
On June 10, 1894, a group of local women met in the home of Mary Lincoln Brown to form a Women’s Book Club that would have as its broad aim the improvement of the mind through the study of literature, but more specifically, the establishment of a public library.
Gathering books and petitioning City Council when funds were scarce, the Everett Women’s Book Club set up a temporary library in the home of a member, and in 1898 the city offered them three rooms in City Hall. Thus, library service began. The Club continued to work for permanent quarters, next moving to a small building, and in 1905 received a Carnegie grant to design an official library for the city of Everett. Throughout its history, the Everett Women’s Book Club has worked to support library collections and services; to find out more about its current activities, visit their website by clicking here.
Main Library Architecture
Made possible by a $75,000 bequest from industrialist Leonard Howarth, the Everett Public Library at 2702 Hoyt Avenue was designed by prominent northwest architect Carl Gould in the spring of 1933 and opened to the public on October 3rd, 1934.
Gould's design is often noted as a successful application of early thirties aesthetics. He had invented a striking Neo-Gothic library for the University of Washington a decade earlier, and his Everett library was declared the public-oriented, utterly contemporary counterpart of that academic, historically-derived masterwork.
The library was expanded and renovated in 1991 by architects Cardwell/Thomas and Dykeman. Displaying the skilled ornamental use of aluminum and terra cotta, the architects restored the library’s entrance during this renovation. A blend of historic preservation and new work is evident in the architecture and design of the Everett Public Library.
Evergreen Branch History and Architecture
The original Evergreen Branch building was a modest portable structure which was opened to the public in the spring of 1985. Using part of the funding raised by a 1987 bond issue, a permanent branch facility was completed in the fall of 1989 at a cost of $1,218,195. The skillful design by Tom Tredway of Dykeman Architects was tailored to fit the character and spirit of the busy South Everett neighborhood. The Evergreen Branch features a remarkable relief sculpture at its entry, the work of sculptor Richard S. Beyer (1925-2012), creator of the famed “Waiting For the Interurban” group in Seattle’s Fremont District. This work celebrates Everett’s Woman’s Book Club and their tireless efforts to bring books to the people of Everett, Washington.