The Evergreen Branch of the Everett Public Library is open and ready for blast off. Dillon Works, of Mukilteo, designed this eye-catching sculpture that greets people along Evergreen Way. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

The Evergreen Branch of the Everett Public Library is open and ready for blast off. Dillon Works, of Mukilteo, designed this eye-catching sculpture that greets people along Evergreen Way. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

It’s a launch for Everett library’s renovated Evergreen Branch

With a rocket ship out front and new spaces to meet, read and learn, the updated facility is now open.

A rocket ship on the outside promises something beyond the ordinary inside. That something is the expanded and freshly renovated Evergreen Branch of the Everett Public Library.

“This is gorgeous,” Everett’s Jeanne Mitchell said Monday. She and her husband, Phil Mitchell, were exploring the library’s airy new digs, where stunning artwork hangs in spaces high overhead.

Before visitors walk through the doors at 9512 Evergreen Way, where words in different languages say “Welcome,” they see the library’s fanciful roadside sign. A rocket blasting off from a stack of books, it’s a sculpture created by Dillon Works. The Mukilteo company also made the stately row of 8-foot-tall classic novels outside Library Place Apartments next to Everett’s downtown library.

Closed since last Christmas Eve, the Evergreen Branch’s grand reopening ceremony Friday drew such a crowd that the Mitchells decided to come back Monday for a better look. Along with seeing the library, Jeanne Mitchell, 73, checked out books, among them one about bucket-list adventures.

“Just about everything is new. It’s more welcoming,” Everett Public Library Director Abby Cooley said Monday while pointing out highlights of the $6.9 million project.

Behind glass doors is a children’s activity room, a colorful space intended to support learning. An open children’s area has early-literacy computers, with games in English and Spanish, along with activity panels for interactive play.

New and needed in the south Everett facility is a large community room, where multi-paned windows let in natural light. The branch can now accommodate sizable library programs and meetings. Equipped with comfortable chairs, the room can be divided into two smaller spaces.

There’s a quiet room and two small group-study rooms. In the central part of the branch are rows of computers, offering more public access to technology than before. At the back is a laptop bar, like similar perches at Starbucks.

Throughout the library, all-new bookshelves are lower to enhance the feeling of space.

High above, in what artist Christine Clark describes as “the clerestory bays that run the spine of the library,” is artwork in three parts titled “Growth, Search, Escape.” A faculty member at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Clark created the pieces to represent life stages.

In “Growth,” hand-woven branches symbolize childhood, and a glowing green house is a sign of protection. “Search” hangs above the library’s computers, while “Escape” is the third part — near the adult reading stacks — and includes overhead stepping stones that lead to a blue-lighted doorway.

The remodel and expansion, designed by Everett-based Dykeman Architects, was built by Faber Construction. According to Cooley, the Evergreen Branch that opened in 1989 was 8,500 square feet. The renovation added another 5,600 square feet plus 32 more parking spaces. The original branch, opened in 1985, was a portable structure.

In her talk Friday, Cooley reminded visitors that the Everett Woman’s Book Club founded a free public library here 125 years ago. She thanked Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and the City Council for supporting the library.

Last month, the library announced that its board had voted in favor of the same service hours at its Main Library and the Evergreen Branch. And both sites are now open until 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Alan Jacobson, branch manager, spent a year during the renovation working at the downtown library. In its own way, he said Monday, the Evergreen Branch is now as distinct as the Main Library, which was designed in 1933 by noted Northwest architect Carl Gould.

The exterior of the branch still has its relief sculpture crafted by the late Richard Beyer, best known for “Waiting For the Interurban” in Seattle’s Fremont area. His library sculpture, honoring the Woman’s Book Club effort to bring books to town, harks back to the early days of Everett.

That rocket ship, though, aims for the future.

“It catches the eye,” Cooley said, as a sign of “exploring, growth and curiosity.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Library hours

The downtown Everett Public Library at 2702 Hoyt Ave. and the Evergreen Branch, 9512 Evergreen Way, now have the same hours:

Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.

Monday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Information: epls.org

Talk to us

More in Local News

A boat drives out of the Port of Everett Marina in front of Boxcar Park, which is one of the sites set to be elevated in preparation for rising sea levels on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How the Port of Everett is preparing for a rising sea level

Big and little changes are in the works along the north Everett shore, though they are easy to overlook.

View of trees at 5th Avenue S and Main Street in Edmonds. (City of Edmonds)
Edmonds council: Home developers, put down those chainsaws!

A new moratorium halts the subdivision of land that has more than eight trees per 10,000 square feet.

The Avenue A/Riverfront Gazebo decorated for the holidays on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The venerable Snohomish gazebo is in need of a remodel

The popular place for marriage proposals is in disrepair and is expected to be rebuilt in 2021.

One person hospitalized after Everett house fire

The person was taken to Harborview Medical Center after the Sperry Lane home caught fire.

A major fire broke out on the Everett waterfront Monday morning in an apparently difficult location. (Sue Misao / The Herald) 20181008
Everett boater gets house arrest for fraud in marina fire

He lost his boat in a 2018 fire. But valuables he claimed were destroyed weren’t burned. He sold them on OfferUp.

Auditor: Lack of oversight led to errors in Sultan finances

For a second time, the state auditor’s office urged the city to improve its financial review process.

Local economic relief programs to get $4.5 million infusion

The new cash will go to small businesses via city grant programs and Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

New Snohomish County online guide aims to boost businesses

County officials have launched an online business directory to help shoppers find local food and wares.

Port of Everett, state offer new small business grants

Port tenants and companies affected by COVID-19 health restrictions are encouraged to apply.

Most Read