Sculpture a literary solution to eyesore

EVERETT — Developer Craig Skotdal watched as a giant row of books was installed outside Library Place on Hoyt Avenue.

The eight-foot-tall and 12-foot-wide art installation started attracting attention Wednesday morning as it was going up, said Skotdal, president of Skotdal Real Estate.

“It looks fantastic,” he said. “We’re pretty excited about it.”

The piece, called “The Book Stack,” got its start about a year ago when an electric transformer box was put near the main entrance to Library Place, a residential building adjacent to the Everett Public Library.

“We were looking for a fun and creative way to hide it,” Skotdal said. “We had a pretty creative marketing team on board and we kicked ideas around on ways we could do something fun and interesting for residents and patrons of the library.”

The row of seven books fits into the new apartment building’s literary motif and includes recognizable classics including “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen, and “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde. A plaque to be put on a planter near the stack will explain that the titles were chosen to acknowledge themes for urban renewal, Skotdal said.

“The book ‘Main Street’ is a reference to pedestrian-friendly streets, ‘Leaves of Grass’ refers to the city’s need for green spaces and ‘Great Expectations’ is a reference not only to our projects but to having a vision for making the city’s future more compelling,” he said. “We were also very careful to make sure we were not infringing on any copyrights.”

The books were fabricated out of fiberglass and metal by Dillon Works of Mukilteo. Skotdal Real Estate began working with the company about four months ago to come up with the concept for the artwork.

Snohomish Public Utility District commissioner David Aldrich was taking his daily walk by the library on Wednesday when he saw the books.

“I knew that (the Skotdals) were concerned about the exposed transformer,” he said. “As fond as I am of PUD equipment, I can see their point. This is a nice theme that they have here right next to the library.”

Everett resident Lyla Anderson and her husband, Trygve, noticed the books on their way to have coffee with friends at Bookend Coffee Co. inside the library. The couple agreed the artwork is a nice new landmark and that it cleverly hides the transformer box.

“It reminded me of very formal library decor,” said Lyla Anderson.

She added as a retired middle school librarian, she’d like it if maybe someday a few children’s books are added to the mix.

“Just throw on top a couple of haphazard children’s books and make it look like it’s really used,” she said.

Skotdal Real Estate has plans for a restaurant, wine bar and outdoor seating area to eventually go into a patio and building space near the row of books. An open house at Library Place Apartments is being planned for the summer, Skotdal said.

A reader himself, Skotdal confessed that he hasn’t read all of the books that are part of the stack.

“It’s part of my summer reading list to make sure I read them all,” he said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491;

More in Local News

Majority of Marysville City Council seats are contested

The most closely watched race is between Mark James and Donna Wright.

500 tires go up in flames at a store south of Everett

There were no injuries. And it was nowhere near as bad as that months-long tire fire in 1984.

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

A pot deal between teens leaves them injured, facing charges

Police found out about the incident when both ended up at the same hospital that night.

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Lake Stevens man injured by 50-foot fall near Leavenworth

The rescuers had to tie in to keep from falling due to the steep rugged terrain.

‘Welcome to fall:” Wet, windy weather in the forecast

The Weather Service is warning people to prepare for power outages, possible flooding and falling trees.

Paul Brandal, 64, walks with his 25-year-old bison, “Wobble,” across a portion of his 70-acre farm between Ebey Slough and Sunnyside Boulevard Monday afternoon. “He just knows me,” Brandle says about the 1,800-pound animal. “He follows me around like a puppy.” (Dan Bates / The Herald)
From a wobbly calf to 1,00-pound behemoth

Wobble, a huge, shaggy bison, had a precarious start in life but now is the last of his herd.

Most Read