The Ballard Carnegie Library, also known until 1963 as the Seattle Public Library – Ballard Branch, is a historic library in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. The library was predated by a freeholders' library in the 1860s, which eventually gave way to a reading room that was organized and funded by a women's' group in 1901. With a grant for $15,000, among other funds, a new library for the then independent City of Ballard was created as a Carnegie library.
The building, located at 2026 N.W. Market Street in downtown Ballard, opened to the public on June 24, 1904. Notable as the first major branch of the Seattle Public Library system, after Seattle annexed the City of Ballard into itself in 1907, and for employing one of the first African American librarians in Seattle, the Ballard Carnegie Library was in service until 1963, when a newer and more modern facility replaced it. After its sale, the old library building housed a variety of private commercial enterprises, including an antique shop, a restaurant and a kilt manufacturer.
The Building Today :
The building is now owned by Karoline Morrison and her husband, Dennis Beals; As of April 2011, they are attempting to sell it, with an asking price of $3 million. They have expressed a hope of finding a buyer who will continue to preserve the building. The former library was home to Carnegie's, a French restaurant from 2003 until 2010.
As of April 2010, the building is home to Ström and Ström Consulting, providing legal and marketing services to mental health professionals. As of March 2011, the building is also home to Root. Integrative Health, a holistic wellness center offering massage therapy, chiropractic, nutrition, mental health counseling, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, and creative writing services. The area around Market Street in Ballard, where the library building is located, is one of the areas of Seattle that is quickly rising in land value, and has been compared to Belltown, a growing Seattle neighborhood that is affected by gentrification. As the Carnegie Library building is without the City of Seattle's "City landmark status" despite its NRHP status, the structure is at risk from new development.