Some read books to learn new things, some read for enjoyment, and some read to escape. At the Downtown Renton Library, escaping begins the moment you walk inside. The original building was built in 1966 over the Cedar River and was renovated in 2015. In order to protect the river, the civil engineers who worked on the renovation brought the building up to current codes without having to do any construction on the river itself. The building sits above the river, and the river flows underneath the seating area in the library. The modern renovations juxtapose views of nature from all angles of the library. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

Water-top Property: The building sits above the Cedar River in downtown Renton.

Water-top Property: The building sits above the Cedar River in downtown Renton.

 

Connected: The library is equipped with a fleet of computers for public use.

Connected: The library is equipped with a fleet of computers for public use.

 

Roll Out: Books travel down a conveyor belt to be checked back into the library system.

Roll Out: Books travel down a conveyor belt to be checked back into the library system.

 

Young Adult Reading: The library has a special section for teens to hang out and discover new books.

Young Adult Reading: The library has a special section for teens to hang out and discover new books.

 

Check It Out: There’s always a friendly face ready to assist patrons.

Check It Out: There’s always a friendly face ready to assist patrons.

 

Hot Off the Press: Fresh issues of a variety of magazines are available for readers.

Hot Off the Press: Fresh issues of a variety of magazines are available for readers.

 

Pump It Up: The library has a full bike-repair station for two-wheeled commuters.

Pump It Up: The library has a full bike-repair station for two-wheeled commuters.

FUN FACTS

  • The whimsical pieces of glass art in the children’s area are installed in the shape of a question mark.
  • The “columns” in the center of the library are actually aircraft cables.
  • The computer tables and large study tables were custom-designed for the space to work with the unique structural and electrical constraints of the building while providing ample seating and computer spaces for patrons.
  • The historic book posters hanging above the children’s area are from the original Renton Library.

THE DETAILS

  • Architect: Miller Hull Partnership
  • Builder: Construction Enterprises & Contractors
  • Square footage: 19,500
  • Employees: 30
  • Built: 1966 (renovated in 2015)
  • Website: kcls.org/locations/1556
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