I admit it – drawing buildings is not really my “thing,” and information about various architectural styles or features usually goes over my head. That said, I am sometimes inexplicably taken with certain buildings and feel compelled to sketch them, in spite of myself.
One such building in my own neighborhood is the Seattle Public Library’s Green Lake branch. Across the street from the lake where I walk regularly, it’s the library branch I visit most often, dropping off books and picking up new ones. According to Wikipedia, it’s one of more than 2,500 public libraries built worldwide with funding by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Opened in 1910, the Green Lake branch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been named a landmark building by Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board.
Although it wasn’t my plan when I sketched it for the first time four years ago, sketching this library has turned into an annual tradition. It’s probably one of only a very few buildings I’ve drawn more than once. I always pick a day like today – sunny enough for shadows, not too hot or too cold – at around the same time of day, and I stand at the same bus shelter across the street so that I have the same angle each time.
There’s something about its stately, dignified style that makes it seem it could easily stand for at least another hundred years, quietly holding books for each generation.
Below are my sketches from the previous four years.